To understand Dallas property tax, you must first understand where the tax appraisal process begins and how it works. All Dallas property appraisals are handled by the Dallas Central Appraisal District (DCAD). This agency provides a wide range of resources for property appraisal and homeowners. Every January, all Dallas County property is evaluated for market value as defined by the Texas Property Tax Code. The DCAD also handles other aspects of property tax, including building permits, reappraisals, new construction, and more. In Dallas County, there are 61 governing tax entities.
How Property Tax Is Determined
In Dallas County, there are four main taxing entities: cities, schools, counties, and special districts. These entities receive the property values established by the DCAD and use it to calculate property tax.
To arrive at the property tax, the tax rate must be established first. The tax rate for each entity is based on the types and amounts of services provided annually and the amount of revenue necessary to do so. The revenue each entity requires, based on its budget, is divided by the total taxable property values. This tax rate has a state required maximum, and anything exceeding the maximum generally requires a public vote to enact.
Revenue Required to Provide Services / All Taxable Property Value = Tax Rate
(Property Value – Exemptions) * Tax Rate = Property Tax
You can find detailed information regarding the annual activities of the DCAD, the Dallas County Market Value, and appraisal results, through the DCAD Annual Report. For a list of Dallas tax rates and a calendar of important property tax-related dates, visit the DCAD website.
When to Pay Dallas Property Tax
Because of the complicated nature of property tax calculations and the necessary annual appraisals and budgeting, property taxes become due when the bill is received. Property owners have until January 31 of the following year to pay their property tax. In Dallas, bills are typically sent in October of each year but can vary. Unpaid tax bills become delinquent after February 1 and begin to accrue penalties and interest charges. Tax collection agencies and their contact details are listed online.
Dallas Property Tax Exemptions
Dallas County offers a number of property tax exemptions, including Residence Homestead, Age 65 or Older, Surviving Spouse, and many others. A full list of exemptions can be found at the DCAD website. In order to qualify for an exemption, you must meet certain criteria for each exemption, provide appropriate documentation proving your eligibility for the exemption, and submit an application by the deadline. An exemption filing is considered late one year after the delinquency date. Each exemption can have its own deadline and dates. You can find a list of exemption forms on the DCAD forms page. Copies are available for download in English and Spanish.
Dallas, Texas, as a thriving metropolitan area, provides numerous advantages to home owners, and offers many options for service areas to choose from. Be sure to research property taxes in an area before moving there to ensure that you are not surprised by your property tax bill at the end of the year.