Dallas County homeowners successfully protesting massive property tax assessments
DALLAS - Two homeowners featured on FOX 4 after receiving massive property tax assessments say they protested the amount and won.
There is still time for North Texans to protest their assessments before the May 16 deadline.
The Dallas Central Appraisal District says more than 170,000 homeowners protested their new appraisal values last year. This year — it could be even more.
Homeowners are fighting back, and Dallas County officials say they should.
"This is the opportunity to protest so we can get that right value," said Cheryl Jordan with the Dallas Central Appraisal District.
FOX 4 spoke with Lakewood’s Katie Menzer last month. Her home’s market value jumped from $508,000 to nearly $745,000.
"The money that I was paying for my mortgage is now going to go to my property taxes instead," she said.
Menzer says they were property taxes she says she can’t afford, so she protested and sent dozens of photos detailing issues with her home.
"It’s not good for your ego. You kind of have to check your humility at the door," she said. "I ended up giving them a call. And then he was like, ‘The best I can do is $660,000.’ And I was like ok! It’s about an $80,000 decrease."
North Oak Cliff’s Barry Heabner also spoke with FOX 4 last month.
"Don’t just let people run over you," he said. "Can’t afford to leave. Can’t afford to stay."
Heabner’s value jumped from $317,000 to $381,000. But after fighting it, it was lowered by nearly $50,000.
"Protest your taxes," he said.
Jordan says it’s no surprise values are increasing.
"There’s a supply and demand issue," she said.
Some who protest will have a hearing with an appraisal review board.
RELATED: Increased North Texas home values could help people drop PMI payments
"What we try to do is settle things informally if you have, one: protested, and, two: provided documentation," Jordan said.
They will not say how many people typically win their protest.
"But with all of the development that’s coming around us, the tax base is growing exponentially all the time," Heabner said.
His home is located in a booming area. The retired rock-and-roll musician provided evidence that the home he bought in 1998 with his late wife isn’t as well kept as appraisers might think.
MORE: North Texas homeowners getting 'sticker shock' with new property tax appraisals
"But you can say, ‘I just don’t think this is fair.’ And you may get a more fair treatment if you at least try," he said.
In both cases, while a hassle, they're grateful for an assessment drop.
"There’s houses around here that have just sold for hundreds of thousands above market," Menzer said.
People can protest online, by mail or by dropping off in person.