property taxAlmost a year after voters approved a 13-cent property tax hike in a Tax Ratification Election, the Dallas ISD board of trustees will discuss reducing the rate this Thursday.

In November, voters approved raising the rate from $1.04 to $1.17, the first increase since 2008. The agenda for Thursday’s regular meeting includes discussion of reducing the rate to about $1.06 per $100 valuation. 

Specifically, the measure would set the maintenance and operation tax rate at $1.068350, and the debt service tax rate at 242035 cents, which winds up being about $1.31 per $100 valuation, a 3.26 percent decrease in the total tax rate.

“We appreciate the tax payers helping us out when we needed you and the state leg. for finance reform,” said trustee Miguel Solis on Twitter. “Proud to lower those taxes.”

In May, the Texas legislature passed sweeping education funding reform, which was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott with much pomp and circumstance. All 139 House members and all 30 state senators voted to approve House Bill 3, which included $6.5 billion in public education funding and teacher pay increases, and $5.1 billion to lower school district taxes. (more…)

property taxes

(Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Allen Gwinn is a number cruncher. Or a gadfly. Or a muckraker/local political analyst. By day, he teaches at SMU School of Business as a Professor of Practice.

Basically a detailed data miner, he has taught information technology at SMU Cox School of Business for 30 years. For years, Gwinn also ran a popular website called Dallas.org, which was 18,000 registered users rich, as large as many local media sites. As he puts it, “I had lots of bandwidth.”

Now Gwinn is gearing up a reboot of Dallas.org, because he believes that taxpayers need a constant stream of data about government spending. An informed citizenry, he feels, makes better voting decisions, which is why he analyzes public data.

“I’m putting together a bunch of data to analyze revenue and expenses at DISD,” he said by phone. “We can show exactly what tax dollars they are getting. It’s eye-opening. DISD historically has been very, very closed with the very data taxpayers need.” But before we dug into school taxes, I flipped out over his tracking of who pays property taxes. I hope a fainting couch is nearby:

Keep in mind that tax revenues levied on Dallas residents and renters have (not quite) doubled since 2013.” (more…)

NeaveShe’s made a name for being an effective legislator since beginning her career in the Texas legislature after winning against Kenneth Sheets in 2016, but State Rep. Victoria Neave is getting some attention now for something entirely different — her delinquent property taxes.

Neave represents District 107, which includes parts of East Dallas and Mesquite.

We reported earlier this year that Neave owed Dallas County for back taxes on her Abrams Road property, and Richardson ISD later filed documentation that Neave owed that entity almost $24,000, bringing her total delinquent tab to more than $50,000. 

Now it seems the property, located at 8580 Abrams Road, may be sold on the Dallas County courthouse steps in October, according to the notice of trustees sale. (more…)

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Gov. Greg Abbott, and Texas Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen announced both chambers of the state legislature had come to an agreement on a sweeping school finance and property tax relief bill.

Squeaking in just before May 27 and sine die, lawmakers in the state House and Senate passed a school finance bill that will provide raises for teachers, pre-K, and property tax relief.

The final OK comes a day after Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced that the two chambers had managed to come to a compromise on competing bills to hammer out school finance and property tax relief measures.

“We would not be here today, making the announcement we are about to make, without the tireless efforts of the members of the Texas House and Senate,” Abbott told reporters gathered at the Governor’s Mansion Thursday. All three had promised at the beginning of the legislative session that the focus would be on school finance reform and property tax relief.

“We’re here to tell you we’ve been all together and we’ve stayed all together,” Bonnen said. “We didn’t get here without being a team.” (more…)

Photo courtesy publicdomainpictures.net

Don’t say we didn’t warn you — the deadline for property tax protests is uh, today. And if you think this requires a massive scramble of documentation to file, we have good news: It can take as little as 10 minutes.

We’ve been telling you about PropertyTax.io since last year. It’s an online tool 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 is really shaking up the way people appeal their property tax bills.

So how does it work? In just a few seconds, you can log on to the PropertyTax.io website, put in your address, and register. The next screen will tell you if, based on the algorithms that factor in comparable properties using several data sets, including MLS data and appraisal district data, you’d have success in appealing your taxes this year. (more…)

How could it be that in Dallas neighborhoods booming with redevelopment, that multifamily properties and investment properties haven’t seen any increases in their appraisals?

Last week, I wrote an update on the DCAD valuations for properties that are part of a block on Lemmon Avenue that was to have been the site of a Central Market (before HEB shifted plans to McKinney Avenue). That story showed DCAD substantially raising the assessed valuations in 2019.

But as you know, I’ve written a few stories on DCAD, and particularly one on properties at the end of a block of Fitzhugh Avenue bounded by Swiss and Gaston Avenues.  I’d seen a new listing for a 616-square-foot detached house at 921 N. Fitzhugh and was curious. The price seemed high, but it was a good-ish location, so I checked the taxes. That check expanded to encompass 13 properties at the end of the block. What I found was astonishing. Two apartment buildings hadn’t seen a penny increase in their appraised value in five years. Another investment property whose value had bounced around between $75,500 and $78,560 since 2011.

What happened in 2019 is equally astonishing …

(more…)

homestead

Photo courtesy Flickr

 

Easter is over, but we’re going to quote a rabbit anyway — if you’re waiting to file your homestead exemption for your property taxes, you may find yourself late, late, for a very important date.

(more…)

Property Tax

Photo courtesy Pixabay

So you’ve gotten that property tax valuation, and in the process of slamming it down on the table, you notice a giant crack on the ceiling.

“Surely,” you think, “if I take a picture of this, it’ll help me argue my case that the appraisal district did me wrong!”

Yes, and no.

See, it’s April 17 now, and that wear and tear you want to use to argue that the condition of your house does not match your valuation? That needed to be present on January 1.

“The value assigned to your property, by law, is the value the appraisal district estimates your property would sell for on January 1st of that year,” explained Glenn Goodrich, Goodrich Realty Consulting’s Director of Technology & Property Tax. GRC created PropertyTax.io last year to help people DIY their property tax protests, and this year, they’re debuting a second product that helps consumers argue condition issues when protesting their valuation. (more…)