Dallas homeowners need property tax rate cut

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson has called for lower tax rates to keep Dallas competitive with suburban towns.

A lower tax rate is a given. Tax assessments arriving in mailboxes show residential property values ​​across the city are soaring. That’s very good news if you’re selling your home in a hot real estate market, but it’s very bad news for residents who plan to stay in their homes, especially those who are older or have an income. fixed.

Based on rising assessments, lower property tax rates will cost most homeowners even more. But tax rates are within the power of the city council, and lower rates will slow the rate at which tax bills increase and, in a few cases, result in lower tax bills.

The good news is that elected officials – from state legislators to members of the local school board and city council – are beginning to realize that residents are in revolt and are looking long and hard at spending, income and the burden of residents. We urge tax agencies to seriously consider reducing the rate of what is known as the effective rate, or the rate of tax that would keep income on existing properties at the same level as last year. Dallas’ property tax rate has gone down every year since 2016, but taxpayers are still hurting.

After two legislative cycles in which lawmakers focused on property tax reform, Gov. Greg Abbott said property tax reduction will be a top priority when state lawmakers return to Austin next year. next. Even though Dallas’ property tax rate has gone down every year for the past five years, it’s still one of the highest in Texas among major cities.

The ongoing balancing act centers on a simple fact: School districts, cities, and counties rely heavily on property taxes to pay for roads, libraries, police, firefighters, teachers, and many other services. residents want. And that’s complicated by explosive population growth across Texas that’s putting additional pressure on state, county, and city officials to raise revenues without placing an undue burden on taxpayers.

In the meantime, protest your assessment and hope for the best. And don’t forget to take advantage of a homestead exemption that could lower your assessed value and save you a few dollars. And look to say “yes” to both constitutional amendments in the May 7 ballot. This could save you a few dollars on school taxes in the future.

Penny D. Jackson