Here’s Why John Ames House Appraised So Low: He Had a HOUSE FIRE!

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I knew there was a good (well, in this case, terrible) reason, because John is, as I said, one of best Tax Appraisers/Collectors we have ever had. Under his watch the office has become much more efficient, the clerks are friendly and polite, and well, maybe he ought to interview for the new management job available over at Dallas City Hall.

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I tried calling John at the Tax office yesterday five times, never could get through because everyone was (probably) calling about their property taxes. May 31 was the last day to protest appraisals. Some tax consultants tell me they were getting calls at 2 and 3 in the morning. People sometimes confuse the Central Appraisal District office with John’s office down on Elm. He does not oversee appraisals, he administers the Tax Collectors office.

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I spoke to John today, and he told me the reason why his home was appraised so low: they had a house fire last February 2015. They lost everything. They’ve been re-building, and the home was only 40% complete on January 1. So that’s what it was taxed on.

“Next year, I’ll probably be paying double in taxes,” he said.

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John was out of town on County business when the fire started in — horrifically — his son’s bedroom in a canned light! Fortunately the family escaped with no injury, but they lost almost everything.

Unfortunately, DCAD makes no mention of properties that have been flooded or otherwise destroyed, perhaps it should.  And it’s our job here at CandysDirt to be vigilante… as we are. We are looking at EVERYONE’s appraisals! There are a lot of angry taxpayers out there. As I said, and meant, I suspected there was a reason for this. John is as honest and forthright as they come. We need more like him in public office.

In fact, we are glad John Ames is getting a tax break this year, sounds like he needs it! And yes, DeSoto has the secret sauce.

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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, 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, and, 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).

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