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Dallas County Reports Uncover the Hidden Charges for Property Taxes

An appraisal is a valuation of property, which is typically used for taxation purposes or to determine a possible selling price for the property. Dallas Central Appraisal District is responsible for appraising property on behalf of the 61 local governing bodies in Dallas County.

A study from Preston Hollow homes depicts that property owners are being charged property tax premiums of up to 40% for views of a lake, parks and other amenities. According to Chapter 23 of the Texas Property Tax Code, an appraiser may consider amenities and views as a factor when calculating property tax value. In fact, the Texas Property Tax Code is the primary source of law and guidance for the Texas property tax system.

Factors Affecting Property Evaluation

The appraiser also considers the physical condition of the property, its location, and anything unique that affects its value during Property Appraisals. The following are some of the factors that are affecting the value of the property.

  • Physical location
  • Building structure and its condition
  • Vehicle access and off-street parking
  • Special features
  • Designing limitations
  • Local council zoning

Dallas Central Appraisal District (DCAD) records show that many of these additional charges were implemented in 2009, long after most of these homes had been built.

Homes near the junction of Royal Lane and Hillcrest Road illustrates how subjective those evaluations can be. Some house nearby Royal Branch Creek is being charged anywhere from 20% to 40% more for their view. Whereas a few are charged less or nothing due to traffic concerns, even though there are no major streets in the area.

Property owners get their tax bills with an update value and a market adjustment percentage. This information is also available online. However, DCAD’s website does not disclose the information from the appraisers on what may have determined the adjustments. The details regarding factors affecting property valuation can be acquired from Dallas CAD office located at Stemmons Freeway.

Cheryl Jordan, spokesperson for the Dallas CAD said the information is distributed in this manner to address privacy concerns. “We are not trying to hide anything. All of that information can be accessed right here,” Jordan said.

Jordan counters that residents should not worry as much about the details in the notes, but rather how their home value compares to other properties in the area. She also advises to contact Dallas CAD and speak with a representative. “It’s not an exact science, and every year stands alone,” Jordan said. “The bottom line is that we want to get it right,” Jordan said.

Blog Author

Patrick O’Connor, MAI, Owner and President
Patrick O’Connor has been active in reducing property taxes, providing expert witness testimony and appraising commercial real estate property since 1983. Pat is active in publishing analyses and data with respect to the real estate market, while being a highly regarded media spokesperson for the real estate community. He holds a MAI, the highest achievable designation from the Appraisal Institute, and is a licensed senior property tax consultant. Pat earned a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University. In 2001, he authored the first definitive consumer guide to Texas property taxes, Cut Your Texas Property Taxes.

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