You should have received your 2020 appraisal notice in the mail by now from the Dallas Central Appraisal District, and whether or not that is actually the case, you are still in charge of paying property taxes on that new amount. That is, unless you successfully protest your appraisal, which can be done either by mail or online through June 15th, due to Covid-19.
And while you have likely heard that the City Council tried unsuccessfully to gain the right to vote on an 8 percent increase on our property Texas, you can count on at least a 3.5 percent increase, which they can do each year without having to hold a vote. The fact that 8% was even brought up in a council meeting means that not only do we need to protest our property taxes, but we also need to start inundating our city council members with reminders that raising our property taxes is not going to sit well with their constituents.
Here’s the nitty gritty details of how DCAD comes to a value regarding your property:
Your new appraised value will have an appraised value and a market value. You are appealing your market value as you cannot appeal your taxable value. The appraised value will only be decreased if you are successful at lowering the market value BELOW the appraised value. The taxable value is calculated by subtracting your exemptions, such as your homestead, from your appraised value. The lower your appraised value the lower the taxable value will be. Your market value is made up of the value of your land and the value of the improvements (home, pool etc.) on your land. Your land value will also take into consideration if you are on a busy street, in a flood plain, or next to the Tollway in which case you should receive a discount. If
you back to a golf course though, you may have a premium. Your improvements are made up of your home or anything that cannot be reasonably removed from the land without causing damage. Appraisers do monitor building permits, they drive neighborhoods and use past information from homeowners who have filed appeals. Speaking of appeals, I am guessing this is going to be a record year for filing them.
With all of that said, here are the most important things to keep in mind when you begin the process of putting together your appeal.
Make sure that you are gathering the correct information. This DCAD assessment is the value as of January 1, 2020 and so any documentation or comparisons you use should be before that date.
Be sure your real estate agent uses only homes with similar locations, that have a similar quality of construction and that are similar in size and condition. For example, if you are submitting a comp for a home sold in your neighborhood with similar location, quality of construction, and it was sold in March 2020, it will be thrown out.
When gathering pictures for your appeal, don’t forget to give them context. If you have cracks in your foundation, do not just submit pictures of the actual cracks but also of the entire room to show how those cracks are affecting the space. Make sure these pictures are in color.
Request the evidence that they used to arrive at your value. This information is not available on the public website and can be helpful to you in your protest when you have an appeal date and are preparing to present your case.
Have a number in mind when submitting a protest. The appraisal district does not want to come up with a number, they want you to tell them what you think that the value of your home should be. Display your protest in a clear and concise way. I always like to prepare mine in an itemized list.
Take a look at your online account and make sure you have your exemptions listed.
It is my recommendation to file a written request form versus filing online. Why? It seems the online system is a black hole that you can never find your way out of. Don’t forget to save a physical copy of your protest for your own personal records too.
As always, if I can help in anyway, please do not hesitate to give me a call.