Did Your Property Sustain Damage During the Eastland Complex Fire?

In an area declared a disaster area by the Governor, Tax Code Section 11.35 allows a qualified property that is at least 15 percent damaged by a disaster to receive a temporary exemption of a portion of the appraised value of the property. A property owner must apply for the temporary exemption and the deadline for application is 105 days after the governor declares a disaster area.  As it applies to Eastland Complex Fire, Governor Abbott declared Eastland County as a disaster area on March 18, 2022.  The deadline for filing the application for exemption is July 1, 2022.  

The exemption applies only to qualified property. Qualified property includes:

  • Tangible business personal property used for income production if the owner filed a 2022 rendition;
  • An improvement to real property, which would include residential buildings (homes), commercial buildings (businesses), industrial buildings (manufacturing), multi-family buildings (apartments), and other real property buildings; and 
  • certain manufactured homes used as a dwelling.

The appraisal district determines if the property qualifies for the temporary exemption and assigns a damage assessment rating of Level I, II, III or IV based upon available information. The district may rely on information from a county emergency management authority, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or other appropriate sources like insurance adjusters or repair estimates when making this determination. 

Level Damage
Assessment
Damage Description Exemption
Percentage
I 15%<30% Minimal, may continue to be used as intended 15%
II 30%<60% Nonstructural damage and waterline <18″ above floor if flooded 30%
III 60%<100% Significant structural damage and waterline 18″+ above floor if flooded 60%
IV 100% Total loss; repair is not feasible 100%

The amount of the exemption is determined by multiplying the building (note: this is the value for the structure only, land is not qualified property and land value is not included in the calculations) or personal property value, as applicable, by the exemption percentage based on the damage assessment level and is then multiplied by a proration factor (the number of days remaining in the tax year after the date the governor declares the disaster is divided by 365). The proration factor for this disaster is 0.79 (322/365 = 0.79).  

Sample disaster exemption calculation:

A $100,000 house (structure value only) received $20,000 in damage from fire damage that resulted in nonstructural damage.

$20,000 Damage / $100,000 House value = 20%.  Damage assessment level is Level 1

        $100,000 House Value times 15% exemption percentage = $15,000 

$15,000 times proration factor 0.88 = $13,200 exemption amount reducing the taxable value for 2021

The appraisal district must send written notice of the approval, modification, or denial of the application to the applicant. The temporary disaster area exemption expires on Jan. 1 of the first tax year in which the property is reappraised. 

The deadline for filing the 2022 Temporary Disaster Exemption application is July 1, 2022. The form (50-312) can be obtained from our office or downloaded from our website at www.eastlandcad.org.  You can mail your application to the Eastland County Appraisal District at PO BOX 914, Eastland, TX 76448 or via email to kerrie@eastlandcad.org  

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