The Dallas Central Appraisal District (DCAD) is responsible for assessing the value of every parcel of land in the county for property tax purposes. The tax assessment value the DCAD places on your home is critical to determining how much your pay in annual property taxes.
Though the DCAD is not a taxing district, its assessment is used by each taxing unit in your area. This means DCAD's assessment impacts your school district, county, city, and other property tax bills. DCAD also manages the property tax protest process for Dallas County.
There are 61 local governing bodies in Dallas County, and DCAD is responsible for assessing properties for all of them. Per Texas law, the annual assessed value is based on a real estate’s fair market value (FMV) as of January 1. The law defines FMV as the price a property would sell for between a knowledgeable buyer and seller after a reasonable time on the market.
Because there are so many homes and properties in Dallas County, DCAD uses mass-appraisal methods to determine your home's tax-assessed value. DCAD’s assessed value of your home is then multiplied by each of your area's local taxing units' tax rates to determine your individual tax bills.
DCAD also maintains a website that includes information on your rights as a taxpayer, what exemptions you may be eligible for and how to apply for them, and information on the tax assessment and tax protest processes.
DCAD’s office is located at 2949 N. Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX 75247. You can reach DCAD at its website or by calling (214) 631-0520.
Texas property tax exemptions are one way the law attempts to lower tax burdens on individual homeowners. Exemptions do not lower your home’s assessed value. Instead, they reduce the taxable value, upon which property taxes are levied. Ensuring your receive all your qualified exemptions is the first step towards avoiding paying too much in property taxes. However, you must apply for all your qualified exemptions.
By law, every local Texas school district must offer homeowners a $40,000 exemption on their primary residence. This general homestead exemption is the most common across the state. To apply for one in Dallas County, go to DCAD's “Filing a Homestead Exemption Application” PDF and fill out the online application form.
The general homestead exemption can be combined with others, such as the senior citizen or disabled homeowners’ exemption, to lower your tax bills even further. Additionally, all taxing units are permitted to offer their own exemptions for taxpayers within their district.
To apply for other qualified exemptions, go to DCAD’s Forms page. You also can call DCAD’s dedicated customer service line at (214) 631-0910 or visit their office for help.
Once you have ensured you are receiving all your qualified exemptions, there is another step you can take to reduce your tax bills. Texas law grants all property owners the right to challenge their home’s assessed value through a property tax protest.
During a protest, you can present evidence that your home's assessment does not equal its FMV. Every protest entitles you to a formal hearing before a local Appraisal Review Board (ARB), which comprises local, independent citizens. A successful property tax protest will result in your home’s assessed value being reduced and your bills being lowered.
In Dallas County, most protests can be filed online using the uFile Online Protest Program available on the DCAD website. DCAD also offers a streamlined process for protests that includes an informal review prior to your ARB hearing
If you decide to protest your Dallas County property taxes, you do not have to go it alone. The experienced team at Watchtower Protest represents homeowners at every stage of the process with DCAD.
Our staff can assist you with filing your protest, collecting evidence, and determining a strategy. We can also negotiate on your behalf with DCAD during the informal review process. Finally, if we cannot reach an informal resolution, our professionals can represent you during your formal hearing in front of the ARB.
Best of all, Watchtower's services come with no out-of-pocket costs for you. You owe us nothing unless we help you reduce your property tax bills. Sign-up today for our risk-free property tax protests through our convenient web portal.
Learn about the various property tax exemptions for disabled persons and veterans in Texas, plus other ways to lower your tax bills.