Homeowners who protest their assessments to the Appraisal Review Board face an uphill fight this year.
According to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, home values in the Park Cities Market rose an average 14% last year over the prior year’s values.
That’s up 7.5% in zip code 75205, 9% in 75209, and 25% in 75225.
In Preston Hollow, the average increase was 11% – 8.8% in 75209, 4% in 75220, 25% in 75225, 19% in 75229, and 3.1% in 75230.
Across the Greater Dallas MSA they rose an average of 8.7%.
“Dallas Central Appraisal District uses prior year home sales to establish assessments for the current year,” said Jonathan Kutner, owner of Property Tax Protest.
Proposed values should have arrived on or before April 15 with a protest filing deadline of May 17 or 30 days after you receive a notice from the appraisal district, whichever is later.
“One consequence, is that this year homeowners cannot afford to rely solely on comparable sales for their protest,” Kutner said. “Comparable assessments (“Inequality of Appraisal”) are more important this year than they’ve been in any of the two decades I’ve represented owners.
“Last year’s record setting value growth accelerated in December which is normally a slow month” Kutner notes. “The district establishes values as of January 1 so protesters will need to use all the tools available to them.
“Homeowners can expect better results if they include Inequality as one basis for their protest rather than citing only Value Over Market (comparable sales),” Kutner. “But most protests overlook Inequality.”
Property Tax Protest reports that according to the Dallas Central Appraisal District last year 178,000 residential protests were filed. The majority failed to submit evidence in support of Inequality.
“When successful Inequality always results in an assessment below market, because it’s applied after market value is determined by the ARB, but it’s complex and requires good supporting data,” Kutner said.
“If you believe your market value assessment is reasonable you can still protest under Inequality, and stand a good chance of having your assessment reduced below market if you have the supporting data,” he added.
A rising market is a double edged sword for many owners, Kutner said. “It increases their property’s value upon sale but also their taxes in the here and now. A protest to the ARB is the starting point to exercise control”