|| Spring is in
the Air, and your Appraisal is in the Mail.
Spring is in the air,
and that means the annual dread of going to the
mailbox to receive notice that the Dallas Appraisal district wants to
increase the value of my home above the 10%
limit that the law caps increases at thereby
increasing my property tax bill. They probably were
not satisfied by the 48% they gouged me for last
year. After all, we have
suspension bridges to build and school superintendent and trustee perks
to pay for.
Indeed with the conflicting tales of real estate markets
slowing down vs the real estate boom and that according to
The Dallas Morning News
that 30% of house sales are not for primary residence
but speculation (purchased to be rented out or later sold to a developer)
due to the past upheavals in the equity (stock) markets.
The logic goes "if you sold your home or if your neighbors sold their home
this is what the structure vs the land would be"? Of course,
it is easy for them to en mass increase the land value
for an entire neighborhood (I am sure the appraisal
district just runs a process on their database of
homes to add X dollars to the land value -- a very
easy task in the computer age).
In one letter to The Dallas
Morning News "letters to the editor", a
reader suggested that since many homes in their neighborhood were brought
by developers who turned around and demolished the
home that the structure be appraised at a zero value.
After all, if it is to
This is a mistake in logic, as that would leave the
total purchase price to the land
component of the appraisal formula. This would allow the appraisal district
to en mass value the entire neighborhoods land value at the cited sales
price (on top of the existing structures).
Besides the proposed cap of 5%
per year, I would argue the
proposal that the Republican primary initiative passed overwhelmingly (the
results never made the newspaper after the election),
that the formula between structure vs land be ratioed in a fixed proportion.
If you look at appraisals in south Dallas, the
structure is valued more than the land. If a
developer wants to purchase a home and scrape the
house and build a McMansion, then the land portion
should not be upped but the structure value should be
increased to reflect the original cost of the scraped
structure as well as the true value of the new structure that they
In short, we who live in older smaller homes should
not bear the cost of their development and profits in
our tax bills as the result of their speculative
Since 30% percent of
residential homes are 2nd homes or an investment,
perhaps the homestead exemption should reward homeowners who
reside in their homes longer (primary residence) with a higher homestead
exemption - a graduated scale that would
increase the exemption the longer they reside in the
home as their primary residence.
Perhaps, too, the
exemption should start after the owner has been in the home one full
calendar year. The builder/developer who builds a home and only resides
the home a year or less, before they flip it, would not have any exemption.
There are several houses and lots
in my area that in their existence (over 5 years) that
each year they have a new owner (more flipping than the
shows at sea world) -almost like a hot potato
that no one can hold for long without burning
Why should homeowners have to pay for these antics
with higher taxes and higher valuations?
One last observation, the school funding/property tax
special session that will occur this month that
promises to give homeowners relief from their property
tax bills probably will result in little impact on the
homeowner tax bill. Like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic with little
David W. Tuthill