Addressing Real Issues with Real Facts

The mad scramble to file taxes

Property Tax Facts

in Finances/Property Taxes by

Taxes are a delicate subject. Taxes are also a complicated subject. Thus, when facts are misunderstood, omitted, or misconstrued it is easy to place false blame.

Recent posts online state: “In five years, Meier has orchestrated a tax increase of 20% or more.” In some posts it states that taxes over a five-year period have risen 20-28% and at another time “nearly 30%”.

Fact: Taxes may go up because of a change in tax rate or change in the value of a property

Addison’s tax rate has stayed the same or gone down nearly every year over the past five years as you see here:

2011.5800 cents per $100
2012Same
2013.5718
2014.5618
2015.57915
Source: Dallas Central Appraisal District

Fact: The tax rate did increase in 2015

Here’s why. In 2015, an Addison-based company moved its sales tax location to another community. As a result, Addison lost nearly $1 million in sales tax revenue. Raising the tax rate helped to maintain the town’s credit ratings as attested to by the town’s longtime investment advisor, David Medanich, Chairman of Hilltop Securities at the March 8 Council meeting. “It [raising the tax rate] shows a willingness to maintain your credit rating,” he said.

Fact: Addison currently enjoys a AAA rating from Standards & Poor’s and an AA rating from Moody’s

Fact: Taxes are based on a property’s value as set by the Dallas Central Appraisal District

And then taxes are assessed by five taxing entities: The Town of Addison; The Dallas Independent School District; Dallas County and School Equalization; The Dallas County Community College District and Parkland Hospital. Taxing entities calculate the taxable value of homes and commercial properties after deducting for homestead exemptions or other exemptions applicable.

The recent post also stated: “You must always consider both tax rate and your land value.” This indicates a possible misunderstanding of terminology.

Fact: Land value does not change from year to year like a property market valuation

Many Addison land values have remained the same since 2006 while their improvement values have risen, depending on the respective home.

Finally, using a phrase from the legendary newscaster Paul Harvey, “Here’s the rest of the story.” Below, from public records, are the homestead taxes of the writer of the posts. There was, in fact a 22% tax increase over the years 2011-2015, but the claim that Meier orchestrated a tax increase of 20% or more is false.

 20112012201320142105
Market Value$231,460$249,100$249,100$272,250$277,760
$$ Change Year to YearSame$17,640 higherSame$23,150 higher$5,510 higher
Property Tax Owed$4,723.42$5,137.29$5,124.36$5,618.64$5,644.09
Tax Bill Increase/Decrease4.3052%8.7621%-0.2517%9.6457%0.4530%
$$ Increase/Decrease$194.96$413.87-$12.93$494.28$25.45
% Increase-Decrease Prior Year4.3052%8.7621%-0.2517%9.6457%0.4530%
CHANGE IN MARKET VALUE$277,260 - $231,460 / $231,460 = $46,300
Increased Tax 2015 over 2011$920.67
Accumulative Increase 2011-201522.9142%
Cause for Increase in Taxes$46,000 increase in market value causes higher taxes
Source: Dallas Central Appraisal District

If blame is to be assigned, it falls on the Dallas Central Appraisal District for increasing the assessed value of the home.

Facts matter (and so does real math)!

To check out the complete facts regarding your own taxes, go to the Dallas Central Appraisal District. Click on “Search Appraisals” to find your property and see the total current picture and history of property tax.

Photo of eye-rolling cat watching owner at tax time by BonBon via Flickr

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