Dallas-Fort Worth Property Tax Guide: How to Lower Your Dallas Property Tax
When it comes to finding the perfect home, many people start by creating a budget to get a feel for what moving to Dallas-Fort Worth looks like financially. One forgotten area in many budgets is everyone’s least favorite word: taxes.
It’s no secret that taxes in Texas work a bit differently. There is no individual income tax, and the sales tax is lower than in many other states. Property taxes, on the other hand, are known to be on the high side. However, this depends on where in Texas you live. Local taxing authorities set their own property taxes, ranging from the county level all the way down to individual public improvement districts. So, choosing your location wisely can play a big role in keeping your property tax bill low.
How are Dallas-Fort Worth Property Taxes Calculated?
The total property tax rate in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is the sum of each taxing entity added together. Each area is likely to have different tax rates, as they’re subject to different taxing entities. Two homes in the same county and city might have different rates because they’re in different school districts, for example.
Tax rates are given in terms of a percentage, a decimal, or as an amount of money per $100 of a home’s value. The City of Dallas property tax rate, for example, might be given as 0.7733, $0.7733 cents per $100. A $100,000 property would pay $773.30 in property taxes to the city of Dallas.
Your county’s appraisal district sets the assessed value of your property based on the market value as of January 1st of the taxing year and sends you a notice of you’re home’s appraised value by May, which is when you have the chance to dispute the assessment if it’s incorrect. Local taxing units don’t set their tax rates for the year until around August or September, and they base their rates on how much revenue they need for their budgets. Payments are due when bills are sent out in October, and homeowners have until January 31st to pay their taxes before the taxes go delinquent and they start racking up penalties.
Property Tax Rates of Counties Around DFW
Here’s a list of the average yearly cost of property taxes around Dallas-Fort Worth. These numbers are based on the median total property tax rate, so your specific tax bill will depend on the entities specific to your neighborhood.
|County||Property Tax Rate||Average Property Tax Bill|
Tax rate isn’t everything. The bill is also determined by your home’s market value. A Denton luxury home will pay a higher bill than a Fort Worth townhome, for example, even though the Tarrant County tax rate is higher. Dallas County and Ellis County, thanks to their lower rates and typically lower home prices, enjoy lower property tax bills than many other areas in the metroplex.
In addition to choosing a county with a low tax rate, you can check different cities within the county to find the Dallas-Fort Worth suburbs with low property tax rates.
Taxing Entities: Counties, Cities, School Districts, & Special Districts
When you are sent a property tax bill, there will be a list of taxing districts you’re a part of. The statement may show the school district tax, department of education tax, nearby community colleges tax, county tax, hospital tax, flood control tax, city tax, etc.
Property taxes help pay for K-12 education, police, fire, parks, hospitals, and other essential services. Each of these entities relies on your tax dollars to function. Tax rates and increases are usually voted on during the election cycle.
How to Pay Your Dallas-Fort Worth Property Taxes
If you have just moved to a new area, you may need some help with when, how, and where to pay your property taxes.
All property tax statements in Texas are mailed in October and are due upon receipt, but must be paid by January 31 to avoid penalties. Be sure to have your account number handy for making payments and getting a receipt.
Here’s a list of each county in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and its property tax payment instructions.
Payments by mail must be made by cashier’s check, personal check, or money order to:
John R. Ames, CTA
Dallas County Tax Assessor/Collector
PO BOX 139066
Dallas, TX 75313-9066
Tarrant County property tax payments can be made online, in person, via phone call with a third-party payment processor, or by sending a check, cashier check, or money order.
There is also a kiosk located inside the property tax lobby of the downtown Fort Worth location for debit/credit card payments. Credit and debit card payments on the phone or in person are subject to fees of $2.50 or 2.15 percent.
Denton County property tax payments can be made online, in person, or via mail. Online payments can be made via eCheck or credit/debit card.
If you want to pay in person, visit one of the six office locations in the cities of Denton, Lewisville, Carrollton, Cross Roads, Frisco, or Flower Mound. There is an online feature that shows current wait times, so be sure to check this out if you are in a hurry. In-person payment methods include cash, checks, cashier’s checks, money order, or debit/credit cards with an additional convenience fee.
Denton County also accepts wire transfers and Automated Clearing House Payments by contacting the property tax office.
Collin County tax payments can be made online, via mail, or paid in one of the three county offices in the cities of McKinney, Plano, or Frisco. To make a payment, you can use cash or credit cards in person, checks in person or by mail, and credit card or electronic check payments by using a third-party service online or via phone.
You can also make payments online using Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or eCheck. A 2.25% convenience fee will be charged for all credit card payments and a $0.50 charge for all eCheck payments.
Checks can also be mailed to the tax office at:
109 S Jackson St.
P.O. Drawer 188
Waxahachie, TX 75165
Rockwall County residents make property tax payments through the Rockwall Central Appraisal District. Forms of accepted payment are Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, cash, money orders, cashier checks, or LegalEase. Payments can be made online, by mail, or in person.
How to Lower Your Dallas-Fort Worth Property Taxes
Many residents find that these methods are very effective in providing a bit of relief for high property tax statements.
How to Contest Your Dallas-Fort Worth Property Tax Bill
Dallas County Property Tax Protest
Dallas County prefers for protests to be filed through the iFile system as opposed to in-person or mailing and will not accept email submissions. Prior to your formal meeting, you should be contacted by an appraisal officer to go over your case.
- Mailing Address: 2949 N. Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX 75247
- Office Location: 2949 N. Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX 75247
Tarrant County Property Tax Protest
Online filing is recommended for shorter processing times and convenience. Protestors may also submit their forms through the mail or delivery them in person to the office. For this county, emailing or faxing protest forms is not accepted.
- Mailing Address: P.O. Box 185519, Fort Worth, Texas 76181-0516
- Office Location: 2500 Handley Ederville Rd, Fort Worth, Texas 76118
Denton County Property Tax Protest
This district has an online portal where protestors can create an account to submit their forms online. Protestors may also fill out a form to submit by mail or in person. Evidence should be included with the protest form. An appraisal officer will reach out to you to schedule your hearing, and you may schedule an informal review when you submit your documents.
- Mailing Address: 3911 Morse Street, Denton, TX 76208
- Office Location: 3911 Morse Street, Denton, TX 76208
Collin County Property Tax Protest
All protests must be written. Though forms are available online, it is optional to fill out a form since a notice has enough information for the district.
- Mailing Address: 250 W. Eldorado Parkway, McKinney, Texas 75069
- Office Location: 250 W. Eldorado Parkway, McKinney, Texas 75069
Ellis County Property Tax Protest
The protest form may be submitted through the mail, in person, or online. After submitting your protest, you should hear from an appraisal officer concerning the date, place, and time of your hearing. Before your hearing, the appraisal office is likely to send you information on the hearing procedures and allow you to request any documents that will be addressed.
- Mailing Address: PO Box 878, Waxahachie, Texas 75168
- Office Location: 400 Ferris Avenue, Waxahachie, Texas, 75165
Rockwall County Property Tax Protest
Protestors may submit a form online, through the mail, or in person. Instead of in-person, your protest hearing may occur via phone or video conference.
- Mailing Address: 841 Justin Road, Rockwall, Texas 75087
- Office Location: 841 Justin Road, Rockwall, Texas 75087
How Do Dallas-Fort Worth Property Taxes Compare to Other Cities in Texas?
Although Texas is known for having higher property tax rates, there are some areas with higher tax rates than others.
Fort Bend County ranks among the top yearly average property tax bill in Texas at $4,260. Travis County bills an average of $3,972 for property taxes. So as far as large metros in Texas go, Dallas-Fort Worth is about average. Higher taxes come with the territory of having so many amenities, extensive city infrastructure, and other conveniences.
Texans also don’t have it the worst when it comes to property taxes. There are several states with higher tax rates, higher average tax bills, or both, including California, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and more.
The Truth About Texas Property Taxes
Texas taxes are often a hot topic across the country. For people who want to move to the Lone Star State to people getting the yearly tax bill, it can be a deceptively complex system. But, with a little research and preparation, you will know what to expect when the bill comes.