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Travis County Provides Tax Relief for Flood Victims

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News
In this Nov. 4 photo, Maria Isabel Fabian tries to salvage an heirloom tablecloth from her flood-damaged home in Dove Springs. Fabian is one of over 600 who qualify for tax relief from Travis County.

It is property tax season and, for the people affected by last October’s floods, there will be some relief. The disaster declaration Texas Governor Rick Perry signed in December means flood victims can have their properties re-assessed and can make their payments in installments.

The relief will be small, since it will only cover the months of November and December, but Travis County Tax Assessor BruceElfant said at a press conference today that, for over 600 properties, the relief means they’ll have a smaller tax payment. 

“For people who have paid already, we will be sending out refund checks as soon as we receive new appraisals from the appraisal district,” Elfant said.

Travis Central Appraisal District is currently in the process of re-appraising all of the 642 properties on their list of affected homes

Governor Perry’s disaster declaration also allows people who were affected by the floods to pay their taxes in four installments. But they need to apply in order to receive benefits.

Tax assessing entities, like the city of Austin and the Austin Independent School District, also have to submit their disaster declarations to the Travis Central Appraisal District. The district’s Chief Appraiser, Marya Crigler, says each district will have to adjust its budget because the declarations will mean “money out of their coffers.”

In order for homeowners to receive these tax benefits, qualified applicants must apply before Jan. 31. The county will re-appraise properties and send new valuations to those affected by floods in February. If residents feel their house was affected by the floods and their home is not on the list, they must apply to the Travis Central Appraisal District by Feb. 15. If residents want to contest their valuation, they can also contact the county tax office. 

Those affected by the floods can also contact the customer service department at (512)834-9138 or email the appraisal district at 

Texas Standard reporter Joy Diaz has amassed a lengthy and highly recognized body of work in public media reporting. Prior to joining Texas Standard, Joy was a reporter with Austin NPR station KUT on and off since 2005. There, she covered city news and politics, education, healthcare and immigration.
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