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Is there any property tax relief available for property that has been damaged by landslides, flooding, windstorms, or is located in an area declared a “disaster area?”

The answer is “yes” there is some property tax relief available if your property qualifies. Any real or personal property that has been damaged or destroyed is eligible for a reduction of assessed value that would result in lower property taxes and possible refunds.

What is a “declared disaster area” and what if my property is located in one?

An area declared a “disaster area” must be done so by the Governor or the County Legislative Authority. Property in a declared disaster area may be eligible for a reduction in taxable value, even if it was not damaged, if its true market value was reduced by more than 20 percent due to negative local economic conditions. For example, the taxable value of a property located on a slope may be reduced if other properties in the same area were damaged by landslides.

How is the reduction or refund of current year taxes calculated?

The amount of tax to be refunded or reduced is based on the amount of value lost and the number of days remaining in the year after the destruction has occurred. For example, a property that was valued at $200,000 is damaged and now worth only $150,000 after being flooded. The flooding occurred on January 7, 2014. Assume a property tax rate of $14.50 per $1,000 of assessed value. The refund or reduction of 2014 tax would be calculated as follows:

     Assessed value prior to flooding $200,000
  Value after damage has occurred $150,000
  Amount of value lost  $50,000
  Multiplied by the property tax rate    $14.50 per $1,000 of assessed value
  2014 Tax on lost value: $725
  Multiplied by the portion of year
remaining after destruction
358/365 (98.08%)
  Amount of reduction or refund $711.08 (725 x 98.0%)

What value will be used to calculate property tax due in 2015?

Using the example above, the 2015 property tax would be based on a value of $150,000.

What do I need to do in order to get property tax relief?

Property owners may apply for relief on forms available at the county assessor offices or download these forms online:

When must I apply for a reduction?

An application must be filed within three years of the date of destruction or reduction in value. While county assessors have the authority to reduce the assessed values of damaged or destroyed properties without property owners needing to apply for relief, filing an application may make the assessor aware of the damaged property more quickly. In areas where a lot of properties have been damaged, prompt claims from affected owners help assessors begin the process of correcting values.

What are the duties of the county assessors and treasurers?

County assessors calculate the new assessed value and notify property owners of their determinations. County treasurers calculate the amount of reduced or refunded taxes.

If I disagree with the assessor’s determination, may I appeal?

Yes. If you disagree with the determination made by the county assessor, you may appeal the amount of reduction to the County Board of Equalization. You must file your appeal within 30 days of notification from the assessor (some counties have extended this deadline to 60 days from notification) or by July 1 of the year of reduction, whichever is later.

What happens if I replace or repair the destroyed property?

If destroyed property is replaced or repaired prior to July 31, the assessor will add the value of the new construction to the assessment roll.