When we “feel like just a number,” we’re really just reflecting our uniqueness being ignored. We’ve long known we’re just a number to taxing bodies like DCAD … albeit one with a dollar sign in front. But recently, I’ve found we’re a percentage, too.

In valuing property, DCAD calculates the total market value based on both land and “improvements” (structures). The combination of these numbers equals the total assessed value of a given property. All fine so far. A (land) + B (structures) = C (total market value)

But did you know that there’s a ratio used between land and improvement values? You likely think this means that land appreciates at roughly the same rate of structures. Partly. It also means that land should be equal to a certain percentage of the structure. And when the ratio gets out of whack, it’s adjusted. On the surface this too seems generally fine, provided you start with structure and land that fall within the ratio (and nothing changes).

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ValdezWe’ve heard it before — after all, when you write about real estate, you do spend a fair amount of time talking about how difficult and expensive it is to pay property taxes: It’s not always easy to be a property owner in Texas.

We’ve talked about why property taxes are climbing. But Lupe Valdez, newly crowned Democratic candidate for governor, says that a story in the Houston Chronicle that revealed she is facing about $12,000 in overdue property taxes is a good example of why reform is needed. (more…)

property taxLast month, we told you about a service that makes filing a property tax protest a ridiculously simple process. Tuesday, I road tested it myself, and it was even easier than I thought it would be.

If you’ve been putting off filing because you’re worried it won’t be worth it, or because the idea of starting the process sounds daunting, I wouldn’t put it off any longer. The deadline to file a protest is May 15 (May 18 if you’re in Denton County), which is — eek! — next Tuesday. (more…)

Recently sold 3131 Turtle Creek offers glimpse into DCAD’s commercial problem

Whenever property taxes are spoken about, residential usually gets the most ink. The reason is simple. The commercial market offers a fraction of the data available to a residential assessor. In the residential world, similar homes are typically clustered together, placing them in the same valuation realm. There aren’t a lot of crackerboxes on Strait Lane.  However in the commercial world, a four-story building can be next to a skyscraper.

Also, unlike residential, there is no centralized multiple listing service to get a view of commercial properties for sale. If residential is iPads and apps, commercial real estate is the equivalent of a quiet conversation in the back of a darkened, smoke-filled restaurant. It’s just more difficult.

I’ve made the suggestion that DCAD needs to hire appraisers to zoom around town and physically inspect commercial real estate to accurately assess its value. That’s because …

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property taxes

PropertyTax.io may just change the way people appeal their property taxes.

First, the bad news: A very important property tax deadline is coming up, and not many people are aware of it.

But the good news is that one company has created a way to make meeting that deadline so much easier.

PropertyTax.io was developed by Goodrich Realty Consulting, first as a tool for their tax consultants to use in the company’s property tax division. Last year, they released the tool to the general public, and it has the potential to really shake up the way people appeal their property tax bills.

“Our mission was to create a smarter, faster appeals process,” said Glenn Goodrich, GRC’s Director of Technology & Property Tax. (more…)

Property Tax

(Courtesy the Center for Public Policy Priorities)

Yesterday morning, the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees met for several hours to review next year’s proposed budget.

It ain’t good.

And yes, being able to maintain the great strides the district is making is going to cost money that may only be available through a tax ratification election — meaning superintendent Michael Hinojosa is proposing for the third time (maybe three times is a charm) that the board consider sending a 13 cent property tax increase to the voters come November.

I mean, you can only cut so much before you have, as Hinojosa said yesterday, cut your way to the bottom.

It’ll be an uphill climb. People will blame the district. People will ask what the heck the district does with all its money, and how it can afford to open new schools and start a transportation department and still apparently poor mouth the taxpayers.

So let’s talk about that. (more…)

When it comes to property taxes, Texas homeowners pay some of the highest residential property taxes in the country, the research group Attom Data Solutions said last week.

According to economist Daren Blomquist, only New Jersey, Illinois, and Vermont posted higher effective property tax rates last year than then 2.15 percent Texans paid.

The company’s analysis showed nationwide that property taxes levied on single-family homes totaled $293.4 billion, up 6 percent rom $277.7 billion in 2016, for an effective average tax rate of 1.17 percent. (more…)

(Photo by iStock)

This year, you will still have 30 days to protest your property taxes, but the starting date comes earlier, April 15. We’ve got stories coming down the pike to get you prepped.

Property taxes remain a huge topic on every homeowner’s mind. When you voted last week (or early), you were asked to respond to some ballot propositions. Twelve  were submitted by the State Democratic Executive Committee, ten by the State Republican Executive Committee. You could only vote for the propositions on your party ballot, not both.

Looking at these, you can see the concerns of each party and how very different they are. Both sides touched on housing — the Republicans were strongly united on property tax reform, while the Democrats were united on affordable housing solutions (including high speed internet for all and no discrimination). The Republican ballot proposition has the “bathroom bill” —  worded “Should we protect the privacy and safety of women and children in spaces such as bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers in all Texas schools and government buildings?”  and the Democratic ballot proposition has the complete opposite: “Should everyone in Texas have the right to a life of dignity and respect, free from discrimination and harassment anywhere, including businesses and public facilities, no matter how they identify, the color of their skin, who they love, socioeconomic status, or from where they come?”

90% of voting Republicans supported that phrase, the “bathroom bill”, while only 68% wanted to abolish abortion.

You can sure tell what the hot buttons are right now. The Republicans want to repeal Obamacare, the Democrats want a universal health care system. If you have ever had a political identity crisis, these props  will help define the essence of each partly currently, and maybe help you find who you are. Too bad they couldn’t be merged on the ballots:

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