What a difference a year makes! I got my notices from both Dallas County and Bexar County, and I immediately called up Rob Wheelock to scream, HELP!
Help me help me, I’m poor — or I will be come January 31, 2015.
Yikes, Dallas real estate values are up, so the Appraisal District is following through and raising values. After next January, we might even be able to afford pay raises for our City Council members.
(What do you think about that, by the way?)
Here’s a guest post on the whole depressing appraisal issue by Rob Wheelock, owner of Property Tax Managers ,and a veteran when it comes to whittling down your property tax bill…
Property taxes are based on a subjective opinion of value… and the word subjective is just that.
“Notice of Appraised Value” letters are hitting local mail boxes and while it’s nice to know that your property is worth more than last year, in most cases, the news isn’t good for tax payers. Higher valuations lead to increased property taxes, which for many lead to increased monthly payments. A value increase of $25,000 adds about $42.00 to your monthly loan payment. We’ve seen several increases of over $100,000 which adds over $2,000.00 a year.
Commercial properties, including apartments are seeing very large increases, which will ultimately lead to higher rents.
Office buildings, industrial buildings and retail all pass property taxes on to their tenants eventually.
I asked Cheryl Jordan (DCAD Community Relations Officer) about the Dallas residential market and here are some numbers she shared with me recently:
The Dallas County Appraisal District has 645,000 residential parcels.
412,500 or 63% of those are Homesteaded, meaning Owner Occupied, and 118,418 of those have the over 65 exemption.
I mention that because when you turn 65 the amount of tax you pay for school and Dallas County freezes.
They mailed out 314,700 notices starting on April 25th.
Of those 367,700 or 41.5% will see an increase in value vs. just 88,000 (13.7%) in 2013.
367,700 or 52.6% stayed the same vs. 64.5% last year.
And 37,000 or 5.9% actually saw a decrease vs. 21.7% last year.
Last year, DCAD had 48,305 residential property values protested, and with the larger number of properties being increased, they are geared up to handle more this year.
So, what should you do? Whether your value increased, stayed the same or decreased, we think it important to know that your property is valued fairly, compared to the market, and compared to surrounding properties of similar age, construction and finish out. If it is, then be happy that real estate values throughout much of Dallas County are rising and your equity is increasing. We believe in paying our fair share and know the importance of our Police and Fire Departments, our schools and all the services that property taxes provide. But if not, do some homework, go meet with an appraiser informally, and if you’re not sure the value is correct, file a protest before June 2nd and appear before the Appraisal Review Board.
The other option is to engage the services of a licensed property tax consultant and let them do the work. I’ve seen property owners get a decrease and think it’s great, only to find out that we were able to get a further reduction for them, saving them more money. We’ve had clients content that their values stayed the same, but again we were able to save them some money by meeting with the Appraisal District and getting a reduction. And we’ve had clients think their values were way high, only to discover that values truly had risen and that they were being fairly assessed, or that there were equity issues where we could save them some money.
Bottom line is everyone should pay attention to their property values and make sure they are being assessed fairly and equally to other properties. Our company offers an Annual Review and each year we run comparisons for our clients properties, and when we see an opportunity to save them money we visit with the appraisal district to plead our case. In some cases we take our protest to the Appraisal Review Board hearings and if we’re still not satisfied with the value, we take it to Binding Arbitration. We make sure all the deadlines are met and our clients don’t pay anything, unless we save them money. It’s a WIN – WIN.
Rob Wheelock Residential Property Taxes Property Tax Managers P.O. Box 12053 Dallas, Texas 75225 (M) 214-212-6910 Rob@PropertyTaxManagers.com www.PropertyTaxManagers.com