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Reducing the property tax rate won't mean a lower bill for most Dallas homeowners

dallas skyline.jpeg
Keren Carrión
/
KERA News
The Dallas budget proposes lowering its property tax rate by 2.75 cents, from 77.33 to 74.58 cents per $100 valuation.

The City of Dallas is planning to lower its tax rate. Other North Texas cities also are looking to lessen the pain for homeowners who've seen their appraisals increase.

The Dallas property tax rate would drop to 74.58 cents per $100 valuation under the proposed $4.5 billion city budget. A resident with a home valued at about $330,000 would save about $70 dollars on her tax bill.

“We believe that is significant and I think worthy given the times we are in, particularly give the tax value growth people have experienced,” said City Manager T.C. Broadnax.

Broadnax said if the reduction is approved this would be the seventh year in a row that Dallas lowers property taxes.

Council Member Gay Donnell Willis said this will offer some relief, but she cautioned that tax bills will still be higher because home values in Dallas have increased. She said Dallas has experienced “phenomenal growth.”

“We know that even with this reduction, it is still going to feel like a tax increase. If you are a property owner, you're going to feel that tax increase,” Willis said during the city’s first budget briefing earlier this week.

A lower property tax rate doesn’t necessarily mean a resident’s tax bill will be lower. Property values are determined by county appraisal districts.

“Property tax is made up of three basic things: the tax base value that's certified by our four appraisal districts, the exemptions that are allowed by state law that you have approved as a city council, and the tax rate that the city council will set,” said Jack Ireland, Dallas’ chief financial officer.

Willis asked about the possibility of reducing the tax rate even more. Other council members applauded the city manager calling this year’s proposed tax rate “generous” and “aggressive.”

Broadnax said he believes the recommended tax rate is appropriate and that lowering the tax rate more might hurt some of the goals the city has to provide more services and hire more people.

"We look at how we will be able to fund the ongoing expenses of the city... And based on my recommendation to make any cuts that would impede our ability to provide services going forward,” Broadnax said.

Property taxes primarily go to the city's general fund which is used for city services.

The Dallas city council is set to adopt a new tax rate in September when they approve a new budget. The new budget takes effect October 1st.

Got a tip? Email Alejandra Martinez at amartinez@kera.org. You can follow Alejandra on Twitter @alereports.

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Alejandra Martinez is a reporter for KERA and The Texas Newsroom through Report for America (RFA). She's covering the impact of COVID-19 on underserved communities and the city of Dallas.