Historic Tax Exemption

Partial Property Tax Exemption for Historically Significant Sites

About | Eligibility | Application | Inspection Checklist

2019 Historic tax exemption applications due April 30

Applications for the 2019 historic tax exemption are due at the Williamson County Appraisal District (WCAD) by April 30, 2019. The form may be downloaded from the WCAD Forms page (under “exemption applications”). 

If you applied in 2018, please ensure that all “needs maintenance” items have been addressed, as staff anticipates that no extensions past April 30 will be granted. Past efforts to assist applicants with program compliance between the May HPC meeting and June City Council meeting are no longer feasible. Please contact Kerstin Harding at kharding@roundrocktexas.gov if:

  • You have questions about the status of your 2018 maintenance report.
  • You have completed the maintenance items from the 2018 report and would like to have them re-inspected to confirm they have been adequately addressed.
  • Your Project requires a Certificate of Appropriateness.
  • Your project is extensive and you wish to propose a phased work plan for completion. 

About the program

The partial tax exemption program for historically significant properties was created in 1988. The program is administered jointly by the City of Round Rock Planning Department and the Williamson Central Appraisal District (WCAD). Under this program, property owners receive a 75% exemption of municipal property taxes.

The program encourages owners of historic properties to use money saved on taxes to provide regular maintenance and/or repair to their historic structures. The overall benefit to Round Rock is the long-term preservation of the City’s historic resources. The full text of the program ordinance can be found in Zoning and Development Code Section 10-57.

Eligibility

Properties with historic zoning, and even some that don’t have historic zoning but have historical significance may apply for a partial exemption of City property taxes.

  • The property must be deemed “historically significant.” Please refer to Zoning and Development Code Section 10-57 (f) for criteria to determine historic significance
  • The property must include at least one man-made structure (no vacant lots)
  • The property must be properly maintained according to the criteria in the inspection checklist. The Historic Preservation Commission inspects properties each year.
  • The exemption applies only to the current tax year; a new application must be filed each year the exemption is requested.


Application Process

Download a copy of the 2019 historic tax exemption schedule.

  1. If you participated in the program last year, please ensure that any issues noted from last year’s inspection report (per letter sent the previous July) have been addressed before submitting an application this year.
  2. Submission of application: The application is available on the WCAD website (“Historic or Archeological Site Property Tax Exemption Application”). Complete the application and submit before April 30 to:

Williamson Central Appraisal District
625 FM 1460
Georgetown, Texas 78626-8050

  1. Inspection: A Historic Preservation Commissioner will be visiting your property to complete the annual inspection (inspection criteria given below).
  2. Application processing: In May the HPC will vote on which properties meet the maintenance criteria and make its recommendation to the City Council. The Council will review the recommendation and render a decision by July 15th of the application year.
  3. A notification letter will be sent to you at the end of July letting you know whether your application has been approved, and enclosing a copy of this year’s inspection report. Any maintenance issues noted in this year’s report must be addressed by April 30 in order to be eligible for the program next year.

Inspection Report

After an application is received, properties will be inspected to ensure that it meets requirements for receiving a tax abatement (below). Properties that fail to meet all the given criteria have one year to fix the problem(s); the same maintenance item noted on two consecutive inspections disqualifies the applicant form receiving an abatement.

Zoning and Development Code Section 10-57 (g) Preservation and maintenance. The following items shall be used in determining whether a historic site has been maintained in accordance with minimum property, structural and health standards:

  1. Any well, cesspool or cistern shall be securely covered or closed;
  2. Dead trees and tree limbs that are reasonably capable of causing injury to a person shall be removed;
  3. Any structure or portion of a structure which is vacant shall be securely closed so as to prevent unauthorized entry;
  4. Paint or other coatings shall be applied at reasonable intervals so as to protect the exterior surfaces of a structure which are subject to decay;
  5. The exterior grounds shall be maintained free of excessive rubbish, garbage, junk or refuse;
  6. Screens and shutters existing at the time of historic designation or added subsequent thereto shall be maintained in good repair;
  7. Broken windows shall be replaced or reglazed;
  8. Exterior doors and doorways shall be maintained in good repair and operable condition;
  9. Skirting around the structure, if any, shall be maintained in good repair;
  10. Porch flooring and supports shall be maintained in a sound condition, capable of bearing an imposed load safely;
  11. Railings and handrails of exterior stairs, steps, balconies, porches and other exterior features shall be maintained in a sound condition so as to afford safety;
  12. Rotted exterior wood shall be replaced and repainted;
  13. Broken or partially missing gutters or downspouts shall be replaced or repaired;
  14. Loose bricks or stones in the exterior of a structure shall be re-established or replaced and all joints weatherproofed by proper maintenance of appropriate materials;
  15. Fences and the exteriors of accessory buildings shall be maintained in reasonable repair, including painting if applicable; and
  16. The property shall be kept in conformance with all city codes.
    Note: “Conformance with all city codes” includes the requirement under Zoning and Development Code Section 10-56 that alterations made to a property with historic zoning first receive a Certificate of Appropriateness for these alterations.

For more information on the program, contact Principal Planner Joelle Jordan at 512-218-5422 or Office Manager Vickie Moreno at 512-218-5415.  Contact the Williamson County Appraisal District (www.wcad.org) at 512-930-3787.