Dallas County Property Taxes Could Go Up by 10%… Parkland Needs Money

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Heads up: Parkland is looking for money to fund that new building that was approved by the taxpayers in 2008. (Personal note: I voted against it.) This despite the implementation of Obamacare. There is simply not enough money coming in from state and federal funding:

“If you look at our history, our revenues have not kept pace with our expenses, and we have the new hospital coming on,” said Dr. Fred Cerise, Parkland’s chief executive officer.

“We don’t want to come back to the county to make up the gap repeatedly,” he said.

The commissioners must approve the hospital’s annual budget and tax rate by the end of September.

The hospital’s budget for 2015 could reach nearly $1.4 billion. Cerise’s latest spending proposal predicts a $13 million deficit that still must be resolved. County taxpayers would kick in $496 million next year, or 36 percent of the total.

The proposed new hospital district tax rate of 28.6 cents per $100 assessed value would mean a $414 property tax bill for the owner of a $144,733 house, the county average. The owner of last year’s average home paid $377 this year, or $37 less. Part of that increase is because property values in the county went up 6.6 percent this year.

So $37 more for that average house, or $370 for a million dollar home. By the way, where do they get this average price of $144,733? According to Steve Brown, “median home prices rose 7 percent from a year ago to $196,500.” That’s right: the median home value in Dallas is inching up to $200,000.

Very quick here, let’s look at where some of the additional Parkland costs are coming from:

$28 million for increased depreciation and interest expenses —  are these real costs or book-keeping? I know interest is real but depreciation?

$10 million for added utility costs and building maintenance — in a NEW building?

$4.3 million for software and hardware — what companies benefitted from those new contracts?

$1.7 million for educational marketing and community events — cut this in half

$1.3 million for supplies related to a new surge of patients — whither Obamacare? All local hospitals have to take indigents, not just Parkland.

$1.1 million for medical-surgical supplies —  hmmm

It’s high time Texas started equalizing property taxes to take the burden off homeowners. And when you fight a new development in your neighborhood, think about this: the state of Texas does not levy a property tax — local governments do, and you can see it happening right now. State lawmakers cannot change the rates paid.

“The formula is simple: The value of a property multiplied by the tax rate equals the amount of tax owed. Local officials look at the total value of property and set a rate that yields the revenue they need. State efforts to limit the growth of property tax revenues have met with limited success; local officials dislike mandates from Austin as much as they hate decrees from Washington.”


Candy Evans

A real estate muckraker, Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading real estate reporters. She is also the North Texas real estate editor for Forbes.com, CultureMap Dallas, Modern Luxury Dallas, & the Katy Trail Weekly. Candy has written for Joel Kotkin’s The New Geography, Inman Real Estate News, plus a host of national sites. Constantly breaking celebrity real estate news, she scooped former president George W. Bush's Dallas home in 2008. She is the founder and publisher of her signature CandysDirt.com, and SecondShelters.com, devoted to the vacation home market. Her verticals have won many awards, including Best Blog by the venerable National Association of Real Estate Editors, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journalism associations. Candy holds an active Texas real estate license but does not sell. She is on the Board of Directors of Braemar Hotels & Resorts (BHR).

Reader Interactions


  1. Patrick says

    I wonder what effect the refusal of Texas to expand its Medicaid program and receive the additional federal funding has on this. Whither Obamacare indeed.

  2. Patrick says

    I have heard that other surrounding counties can and do send their indigent people to Parkland ER – at the expense of Dallas CO Citizens.
    If this is true, then we need to be billing said Counties

  3. Patrick says

    Of course this has a lot to do with our inept Rick Perry being all high and mighty refusing Federal support – just like the border crisi it’s come back to haunt us.

    Perry and his crooked cronies have GOT TO GO !!

  4. Rob Wheelock says

    Keep in mind that the proposed 10% increase is only for the Parkland Hospital taxing jurisdiction, which represents about 14% of a Highland Park property and 10% of a Dallas property. This doesn’t cause a property owners total tax bill to increase by 10%, just the portion for Parkland Hospital.

    Take a home valued at $1.5 million with a Homestead Exemption. In 2013 they paid $3,312 for Parkland Hospital. In 2014, if approved, they would pay $3,643 for Parkland Hospital.

    I’m thinking the average price they referred to may be what a homeowner pays taxes on with exemptions, not the Market Value set by DCAD.

    As far as the additional Parkland costs of $10 million for added utility costs and building maintenance, I too would have thought that the new building would be much more energy efficient and that maintenance for the first several years would be minimal and that the budget line for those item would show a decrease over previous years.

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