City councils are approaching the final votes on their tax rates and budgets. With citizens’ wallets hurting as a result of government-mandated shutdowns, will city councils within Dallas County continue to hike homeowners’ average property tax bills?

According to data from the Dallas Central Appraisal District, 27 city councils hiked their average property tax bills for homeowners last year. City councils of Wilmer, Combine, and Hutchins were delivered one-year hikes of over 37 percent and over 23 percent, respectively. Only Lewisville and Cockrell Hill hiked such bills no higher than 3.08 percent from 2018.

Dallas hiked theirs by over 9 percent over the same time period.

Comparing average property tax bills for homeowners in 2019 with those in 2013, Wilmer’s was over 138 percent higher, followed by Mesquite at over 94 percent, and Balch Springs at 89 percent. Bills from Ovilla, University Park, and Coppell increased the least: over 34 percent, 33 percent, and 30 percent, respectively.

Dallas’ average property tax bill for homeowners increased over 56 percent during the same time period.

Citizens can find more detailed information on these increases here.

As part of their response to the Chinese coronavirus, Congress doled out $158 billion in federal taxpayer dollars to local governments. Of that, the City of Dallas received $234 million, causing Councilman David Blewett to ask, “Are we really in a serious budget crunch?”

Many city councils are setting their tax rates and budgets this month, so Dallas County citizens facing tighter personal budgets this year may still have an opportunity to speak with their city council members.

Property tax reform legislation passed last year requires highly populated cities to seek voter approval before hiking property tax revenues higher than 3.5 percent from the previous year, though some have tried using the emergency exception this year due to the Chinese coronavirus.

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.