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Dallas County judge encourages homeowners to file property tax protests

Judge Clay Jenkins says Dallas County rates won’t go up for most taxpayers.

DALLAS — As all Texans know very well by now, property values are exploding, and property tax rates are following closely behind.  

It’s the version of the Texas Two-Step we all hate.

And Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has a warning for Texas taxpayers all across the state: file your protests before the looming deadline, which is May 16.

And the Democrat says he’s proud that Dallas County homeowners likely won’t be paying more this year for the third year in a row. Jenkins says if property values rise 24% this year, and he says it looks like they will, the county will lower the tax rate 24% in kind.

“So, the average person will pay the same amount to us as they did last year,” Judge Jenkins said on Inside Texas Politics. 

But to be clear, not every taxing entity does this, so be sure to check with your local office.

Watch the segment below:

And your county taxes are only one part of your property tax bill. School district taxes account for the biggest share.

Jenkins says he’s talked to a number of superintendents and school board members this year about their tax rates. He says many are nervous to lower their rates because of funding-cut threats from state officials.

Jenkins says until the state lowers property taxes, the best thing you can do is file your protest and attempt to lower them on your own.

“If you just say hey, you said my house is worth $600,000, I say it’s worth 500,000 and you don’t put anything in there, that’s not going to work. You need to have pictures or comparables or something to justify what you’re saying,” Jenkins said. “I’ve given you some examples of old appliances, cracks in the walls, wood rot. Maybe you need a new roof. Maybe your roof is 15–20 years old and you need a new roof. Tell them that.”