The Dallas Central Appraisal District and I have very different opinions on what is considered “desirable,” it seems.

Last year I began to notice a change in how DCAD valued certain multi-family and high-rise condo properties. Specifically, I noticed that The Warrington units of the same floor plan and judged as being in the same condition were almost always valued the same. On the surface, this seems logical, but is it?

First, a little background.

DCAD categorizes homes by what they call “desirability” but might as well be called “condition.” Unfortunately “desire” seems more in line with location than a structure’s physical repair. There are eight buckets of desirability ranging from undesirable to excellent. During this year’s annual property tax challenge, I was told that single-family homes utilize all eight while condos use fewer. For example, for my Athena floor plan, there are only four categories used – Average, Good, Very Good, and Excellent.

Think of desirability as a multiplier in the assessed valuation equation. If “average” equals one, then those properties rated lower get a base value multiplied by something less than one. The opposite math for those rated above “average” being multiplied by something more than one.

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Here’s the net-net of the proposed Republican plan to “lower” our taxes. Mortgage interest deductions would be capped at mortgages $500,000 or less (half the current $1 million) for primary residences. Mortgage interest deductions for second homes would simply vanish. You may be thinking this doesn’t sound bad and you may be mostly right.  While I suspect the $500,000-plus market is relatively smaller than the sub-$500,000 market, the rub may be with the second home deduction.  After all, how many soon-to-be retirees have a $400,000 primary residence and a $250,000 second home?

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Texas rises to the top again — this time, when it comes to high taxes.  According to a new study by WalletHub, Texas ranks sixth-highest for real estate taxes in the country. It’s no wonder then, that more than 60 tax-related bills sit before the Texas legislature now.

Worth noting: the WalletHub study cites Republican states as having lower overall property taxes when compared to their blue counterparts. So it comes as no surprise that much of the legislation aimed at decreasing Texans’ property tax burden originates from Republicans.

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Dallas ISD trustees failed Thursday to get a supermajority to agree to place a 13-cents property tax increase on the November ballot. (Photo by Erik Hersman/Flickr)

Dallas ISD trustees failed Thursday to get a supermajority to agree to place a 13-cents property tax increase on the November ballot. (Photo by Erik Hersman/Flickr)

Since I write for a real estate publication, I get the, uh, benefit of hearing a lot about property taxes and how people feel about them.

It’s because of that I can feel pretty confident when I say that this may not have been the year to try a 13-cent property tax increase, even if Dallas ISD has one of the lowest rates in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Now, my reasons for saying that are completely different than some of the trustees who voted against the tax last night, and which you can read about here, here and here. But for now, let me say this: We cannot fund pre-K expansion and two years of college on eight campuses without some kind of investment. I still absolutely think that every single thing on the original measure was important and worthy of the extra taxation, and if I had been allowed, I would’ve voted for all three measures.

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property tax

Sponsored By Texas Tax Protest.

Texas Tax Protest is a property tax consulting company which reduces the property tax burden home owners and commercial property owners pay on their properties.

Created By BlankSlate

Do you own a home or commercial property in the D-FW area? Get ready for sticker shock when you receive your 2016 property tax appraisal notice – and learn how you can fight back.

Property Taxes Are Skyrocketing

Property values have soared in the past year, driving up tax appraisals with staggering increases and causing gasps across the Metroplex as homeowners open their mail. The combination of high demand and low inventory is creating a hot real estate market in many parts of Texas, which appraisal districts are using as justification to significantly raise tax appraisals.

14 Percent Increase in Tarrant County

Record-breaking property tax increases may be in store for 2016. One of the first counties to release property tax appraisal notices this year was the Tarrant Appraisal District. According to TAD, residential property values have increased a whopping 14 percent in the past 12 months.

Owners of multifamily properties could expect an even larger increase due to high rental rates and low vacancy. Apartment owners may see their property taxes rise by 20 percent or more!

How to Fight Back: Your Right to Appeal

As a property owner, you have the right to challenge your taxes to keep them low and manageable. You can file an appeal, compile evidence, and present your case to the appraisal district in order to change their valuation of your property.

Many counties in Texas are sending out property tax appraisal notices right now. Under state law, you have until May 31st to file a tax protest. You can prepare the case yourself, or hire a professional to fight on your behalf.

Call in the Experts: Hire Texas Tax Protest

Hiring a tax professional is the easiest and most direct way to appeal your taxes – and it can be the most effective. At Texas Tax Protest, our professionals build data models, review neighborhood statistics, and have expert knowledge of the appeals process.

We spend time researching the evidence in order to present a case that is accurate, effective, and organized. We win new cases about 80 percent of the time, compared to around 25  percent for homeowners who protest their cases on their own.

patrick melton of texas property tax

Patrick Melton

2016: A Critical Year to Challenge Your Taxes

The best time to appeal your taxes is right now. According to Patrick Melton of Texas Tax Protest on WFAA News 8:

2016 is “a critical year to fight… Values are up. If you fight them now, it could prevent them from compounding over time and increasing to an unbearable level.”

Watch News 8’s video segment on skyrocketing property taxes, and listen to Melton explain how to fight your tax assessment – and why you should.

Contact Us Today for a Free Property Review

By challenging property tax values, the average homeowner can save hundreds to thousands of dollars – not just this year, but for years to come. Get a free property review from Texas Tax Protest, and discover your potential tax savings. Contact us online or by calling  214-960-5590.

The deadline is fast approaching – don’t miss this opportunity. Assert your right to fight!

Dallas Land Use

The Productive Land Use Series will focus on annual property tax revenue at the neighborhood level. Since land is the city’s primary resource, this series will delve into how we are using our land and if we can use it more efficiently. For part 1, click here.

In the previous post, we looked at various types of housing throughout Dallas and evaluated the property tax revenue per acre collected every year in order to analyze a neighborhood’s financial contribution to city operations. Using a well-maintained, single-family neighborhood as our standard, $30,000 collected per acre annually is our baseline to which we judge the financial performance of our land use.

As we look at the productivity of our neighborhoods, we see that the desirability of an area reflects positively in property tax return for the city. More often than not, the attractiveness of a neighborhood is related to the commercial amenities located in the vicinity of the residents. These third places, where people work and play, not only help define the community, but also contribute to the functioning of our city by paying property tax and sales tax.

We should expect higher revenue from our commercial spaces because they see more activity than our homes. From entertainment to employment, commercial spaces bring people together to spend money. As important cogs in our economy, they must also pay their share for the municipal services they require.

First, let’s take a look at the most common commercial space in our city:

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Don't Mess with Taxes

Wallet Hub did a very interesting analysis when it comes to the various tax systems employed by individual states in the nation. Come to find out, Texas’ tax system, which relies heavily on property taxes to fund our government services, is rated as one of the most unfair tax systems. Of course, after our recent spate of good fortune in the housing market, it’ll be interesting to see how much homeowners are going to end up paying in 2015. And what about all of the capital gains folks are going to have to pay on those record-breaking sales?

Next April is going to hurt, that’s for sure.

Jump to see the how Texas measured up:

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1034-Windomere-ext-575x383

It’s Tax Day, and while you’re frantically double checking your forms to make sure you got every single deduction, don’t forget that there are a slew of tax benefits to being a homeowner. We scoured the IRS site and the web to compile this list of deductions many homeowners can claim. For a more exhaustive list, check out this “Taxopedia” from Kiplingers.

For a the top 10 deductions for homeowners, jump!

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