Rising Denton County Home Values and Your Property Taxes

In the last few years, the housing market in Denton County has been scorching, but higher real estate values have led to higher property taxes. And for some Denton County homeowners, increased tax bills have caused budgeting headaches and lifestyle changes.

Luckily, there are a few ways to ensure your property tax bills do not spiral out of control. The professionals at Watchtower Protest know all about these methods and can help you fight for lower taxes on your home.

Denton County Property Values Are on the Rise

If you have friends, family, or neighbors who recently bought or sold a home, you know Denton County house prices are quickly increasing. According to real estate brokerage Redfin, as of August 2022, Denton County’s median home sale price is up 13.2% year-over-year.

Even though there are signs in the data that the market may be cooling (the days the average property is on the market has increased from 17 to 24), the suburban metroplex real estate continues to be a hot commodity. 

This is especially true in Denton County. And it is hurting homeowners who don’t plan to sell anytime soon by drastically increasing their property tax bills.

How Your Home’s Value Affects Your Texas Property Taxes

Texas bases your home's property tax assessment on its market value. In fact, the law requires your home to be evaluated at its fair market value (FMV) as of January 1 every year. So, if your home's FMV has appreciated 15% during the year, you may face a similar tax hike.

Every taxing unit in your area uses your home's assessed value. So, the 15% appreciation applies not only to your local school district taxes but also to your city government, county government, and any special tax district bills as well.

In Denton County, the Denton Central Appraisal District (DCAD) is responsible for assessing your home’s taxable value. DCAD will mail you a Notice of Appraised Value every year that your home’s assessment has increased. This Notice goes out in April or May, and homeowners should pay close attention to its contents.

The Impact of Capped Property Taxes

Even if your home’s FMV increased 13.2% last year – matching the median Denton County house – your property taxes should not increase by that amount. That’s because Texas caps the amount primary residence’s assessment can rise each year at 10%

Assuming your home is your primary residence (not a rental or vacation property), you likely qualify for a general homestead exemption. Once you have applied for and received a homestead exemption, DCAD cannot increase your home’s assessed value by more than 10%.

Additionally, Texas caps the school district property taxes of homeowners aged 65 and older. This “senior freeze” limits your qualified school district taxes to no more than the amount you paid the year you turned 65.

These two property tax caps help protect Denton County homeowners in a hot real estate market. When the market increases by more than 10% annually, your property taxes should not rise in lockstep. This artificially keeps your bills below what would technically match fair market value.

How a Property Tax Protest Can Lower Your Property Taxes 

There is an additional benefit from Texas caps on the increase in property tax assessments. It makes a successful property tax protest even more valuable.

Through a property tax protest, a homeowner challenges the assessed value of their home as determined by DCAD. During an informal resolution process and/or a formal hearing, the homeowner can present evidence that their assessment is too high. 

A successful tax protest results in your home's assessed value being lower. Not only will this slash your tax bills during the current year, but it also locks in that lower value for feature assessments. Because under Texas law, the assessment cannot rise by more than 10% annually, a successful property tax protest can help lower all your future property taxes

By winning a property tax protest, you'll be better protected from every future year of strong real estate growth. And by protesting every year, you can save even more. 

The experienced staff at Watchtower Protest is ready to assist homeowners with their Denton County property tax protests. Start the process now by signing up online for our risk-free services.

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