Rising Property Tax Bills Spur Workshop Blitz

Dallas Central Appraisal District | Image by Fox 4 News
Dallas Central Appraisal District | Image by Fox 4 News

Many Dallas County homeowners are facing rapidly rising property tax bills as development has spurred an increase in property values around the area.

Toby Toler is a commercial tax consultant who is organizing workshops for low-income residents to get assistance navigating the complex laws surrounding tax exemptions that can help people keep their homes. Toler told The Dallas Morning News that his office has seen hundreds of cases of people struggling with exemptions.

“Those are the people whose houses have gone up over 1,000% since 2019,” he said.

“We got 500 of them on our list that have all got triple digit if not quadruple digit increases. West Dallas has seen it the worst,” he said. “I mean, it’s happening in the whole county because the whole Dallas County is just a hot market right now. But West Dallas, you’re seeing it because of so much development over there. It’s a hot area.”

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Dallas proper saw the highest five-year property tax increase of any major U.S. city in 2023, according to an analysis by Today’s Homeowner.

Property tax expenses have risen drastically despite the Dallas City Council passing tax rate reductions every year since 2016, including what Mayor Eric Johnson described in a tweet in 2022 as the “largest single-year tax-rate reduction in modern Dallas history.”

Toler’s workshops are held three days a week. They take place at 3107 North Winnetka Ave. in Dallas on Saturdays and Mondays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Juanita Velasquez told DMN that Toler’s workshops helped her save her home, which has been in her family for 40 years. Velasquez saw her property rates climb sharply every year, and as she faced retirement and a fixed income, she said she knew she wouldn’t be able to pay her taxes.

She explained that the tax exemption application process was confusing. She was initially unsuccessful at gaining an exemption until Toler’s workshop and office helped her with the process.

“Everybody’s hurting, in my neighborhood anyway,” she said. “Maybe somebody out there somewhere will figure out a way to help provide some relief for some of those families. I am not going to stay awake at night worrying about how I’m going to pay my taxes anymore, but I know there are people who do.”

Dallas has seen faster-climbing property values than some counties as the region has become a hot spot for people moving from other states, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Home prices are significantly higher in many parts of California, and when residents of the state sell, they come to Texas flush with cash. In part, the constraints on the supply of homes have led to higher prices. Additionally, the region has been popular with “flippers” that improve the value of the property and raise the amount of taxes owed.

DMN reports that early returns from the Dallas Central Appraisal District indicate a county-wide increase of 15.6% in residential property values. Collin County shows an increase of 7%, while Denton County indicates a 4.8% increase.

The outlet points out that the counties may factor the value increases differently.

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