Dallas neighborhood homes

Aerial view of a residential neighborhood near Dallas, Texas.

(The Center Square) – Average property tax bills increased by double-digit percentages in 2019 in 27 cities in the Dallas area as a result of rising property evaluations, according to data from the Dallas Central Appraisal District.

While some taxing entities rushed to increase property taxes before a new property tax reform bill went into effect Jan. 1, 2020, many reduced their tax rates. The new law required higher-populated cities to seek voter approval before increasing property taxes by more than 3.5 percent from the previous year.

However, because of rising property valuations, tax bills were notably higher.

In Wilmer City, property tax bills increased by 37.79 percent, and in Combine and Hutchins counties, by 23.8 and 23.6 percent, respectively.

The next highest property revenue increase according to property valuations occurred in Seagoville, Garland, Sunnyvale, Balch Springs, and Farmers Branch, ranging from 19.22 in Seagoville to 11.4 in Farmers Branch.

Bills went up even if rates went down. In Farmers Branch, for example, property tax rates were reduced in 2018, remained the same in 2019, and this year were reduced again. The City Council approved a new budget with a property tax rate cut and increased its senior exemption, Tom Bryson III, CPC, director of communications with the City of Farmers Branch told the Center Square.

After six weeks of consideration, meetings and discussions, the Farmers Branch City Council on Monday approved the $141.2 million proposed 2020-21 budget and tax rate by a vote of 4 to 1.

The budget includes a one-cent reduction in the property tax rate, to 58.9 cents for every $100 of appraised value, and a dramatic increase of $15,000 for the senior property tax exemption. This resulted in an average tax bill savings of $90 for homeowners over age 65—one of the largest tax breaks for seniors in recent history, Bryson adds.

To better understand their tax bill, city leaders explain that City of Farmers Branch property taxes comprise only roughly 24 percent of a homeowner’s total property tax bill. The rest is comprised of taxes for Dallas County, school districts and other entities like Parkland Hospital and the Community College District.

Property tax bills increased by less than five percent in Cockrell Hill and Lewisville by roughly 2.41 percent, and 3.08 percent, respectively.

The average property tax bill in Wilmer increased by 138 percent over a six-year period, from 2013 to 2019, according to appraisal district data.

During the same time period, Mesquite’s property tax bills increased by more than 94 percent, and Balch Springs’ by more than 89 percent. Ovilla, University Park, and Coppell’s property tax bills increased by at least 34 percent, 33 percent, and 30 percent, respectively.

Dallas’ average property tax bill increased by more than 56 percent during the same time six-year time period. In 2013, the average homeowner’s property tax bill was $1,100. By 2018, it jumped to $1,580. Dallas increased property taxes by 9.04 percent in 2019, up to an average bill of $1,723.