Fort Worth

Property tax sticker shock? Appraisals have been mailed out and some are in for a jolt

Rising property values push property taxes higher, putting squeeze on homeowners

North Texas is losing its reputation as a place where housing is cheap, with home prices increasing more than 30 percent just in the past three years. As a result, many residents are finding that their annual property tax bills are shockingly higher.
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North Texas is losing its reputation as a place where housing is cheap, with home prices increasing more than 30 percent just in the past three years. As a result, many residents are finding that their annual property tax bills are shockingly higher.

It’s that time of year when Tarrant County residents nervously check their mailboxes to see how much their residential property values went up.

Jeffrey Law, Tarrant County’s chief appraiser, said 600,000 notices were sent out on March 28. It is too early to give a breakdown of appraisals by city or school district but most will see increases.

“It is very early to say at this point, but I estimate overall values for Tarrant county to be up 7-10 percent,” Law said via email. “While some individual property values may have substantially larger percentage increases, others may see lower increases.”

Homeowners should have received their appraisals by Monday. Commercial appraisal notices should arrive around April 15.

The Tarrant Appraisal District won’t produce detailed value estimates until the end of April.

“I would also expect to see similar increases in values in other urban counties all across Texas,” Law said.

Despite some cooling in some parts of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Zillow listed Dallas-Fort Worth as the seventh hottest real estate market in the country for 2019.

“The real estate market we are currently seeing is the best I have witnessed in decades,” Law said.

In Austin, Gov. Greg Abbott and legislators have focused on giving homeowners property tax relief during this session.

House and Senate bills would prevent cities and counties from increases property taxes more than 2.5 percent without a vote. The Senate plan also puts the 2.5 percent cap on school districts.

Tarrant County homeowners have until May 15 to challenge their appraisal. They can protest at TAD.org, request an informal review with a TAD appraiser or file a formal protest with the appraisal review board.

Photos, sales documents or repair estimates will help determine the correct market value of property, Law said.

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