Shocked after opening your property tax assessment for the current year? If you’re your answer is a resounding yes, you are not alone! There’s a rise in property taxes in Dallas County. However, the middle class is left to shoulder the most burden, while wealthy individuals and businesses are given a break, says an analysis by The Dallas Morning News.
Doug Silver, who is 46 and resides around White Rock Lake said that he feels he will be taxed out of his house within 3 – 4 years, if the taxes continue at this rate! His assessment climbed by 9% this year.
Dallas County homes value hiked by 10% for the current year, whereas, middle income group homes valued around $100,000 to $250,000 hiked in value by 11.2%. According to The News, posh properties that are $1million or higher saw an increase of 7.5%.
Besides, the taxes were hiked for homeowners than commercial properties. 73% of homeowners across Dallas County saw the values of their homes raise, as against only 30% of commercial properties.
Philip Kingston represents Lakewood and few other upper class areas in East Dallas on the City Council. He said, he’s upset to hear about the numbers where burden is laid on the middle-class housing. He thinks it’s a perverse tactic and wants to bring middle class back.
The News sifted through a number of preliminary county appraisal records that were released earlier this month. Those numbers will be official after appeals process is done. However, this process typically favored businesses and individuals who could hire lawyers or consultants. In the interim, middleclass homeowners are struggling to fight back what’s perceived as uneven / partial.
Middle class individuals have been staying clear off or shifting away from Dallas for a while now. City Hall typically aims to bring them back. Even so, census shows Dallas is quickly becoming one of the two-tier cities, where either the rich or poor reside in.
The officials fear the latest property tax system might increase the problem further. Local officials say they are handicapped due to state law, where accurate assessment of high-end residential and commercial properties are concerned.
Unlike other states, Texas doesn’t mandate real estate sales prices to be revealed publicly. Property owners who can buy posh properties often get NDA. Besides, state also allows property owners who have challenged their appraisals successfully for attorney fees to be taken care of by the county.
According to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, the state has money and lawyers in abundance and by citizens trying to fight them, they will only end up paying up more in legal fees. It does have a quelling effect on appraisal and most districts are trying to be aggressive, which shifts the burden to middle-class.
John Lee, who’s 68, was in for a shock when he checked his appraisal earlier this month. His Old Lake Highlands home rose by 42 percent and he can’t fight against it though it is overestimated. He further added that he just has to go ahead and pay up, until he and his daughter could afford that. He further added that it is almost time for him to hit the cemetery but his daughter’s future is bleak.
For low-income groups it is even tougher to fight against assessments, as they have to take off from their work and hire a professional. Their services could be more than what they can afford. Even so, property tax consultants suggest homeowners should fight since the subject is sensitive and the state could come up with a solution.
Evan Fetter, a local consultant said that the taxes are hiked on many properties and the entire system seems unfair and flawed. On the other hand, The Dallas Central Appraisal District feels increased appraisals reveal the potential real estate marker has. Appraisers feel there’s more demand for middle-class homes, particularly if they’re priced between $100,000 to $300,000 price range. Ken Nolan, chief appraiser for the district says that the appraisal vests with the real estate market and that the value reflects what people have paid. He further adds that if they have a problem with the rate, they have to question only themselves!