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Today is the deadline to challenge property appraisals. What you need to know

Last-minute foul-ups in Denton Central Appraisal District cause 5:18 a.m, email alert to property tax protesters.

The deadline to file most property appraisal protests in North Texas is today and the last chance for home and business owners to lower their tax bill for 2024.

Confusion abounds as taxpayers struggle with how and if they should file a protest on their property appraisals.

But not if you’re in Tarrant County, where the deadline was extended to May 24 after a system shutdown due to a cyber attack. It’s one more setback for the troubled Tarrant Appraisal District, which has struggled with computer problems for years.


Denton Central Appraisal District appears to have a problem. At 5:18 a.m. this morning, it sent an email to property owners with the subject: “Please Check Your Appraisal District Taxpayer Appeal Portal.”

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Their note states, “We are reaching out to inform you of an important update regarding your property appraisal protest filed through the county appraisal district Online Taxpayer Appeal process.

“It has come to our attention that there were issues with our email notification system, which may have affected the delivery of updates and changes to your protest status and information. To ensure that you have the most accurate and up-to-date information, we kindly ask you to log in to your online portal and review the status of your protest.”


To complete the protest notification the email asks recipients to go to and log in.

“Review all information and ensure that your contact details [and] protest details are correct and complete the process. If you notice any discrepancies or have any questions, please contact the county appraisal district office and review the issues with their staff.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your understanding and cooperation. Thank you for your attention to this matter.”


Denton Chief Appraiser Don Spencer said the vendor, BIS Consultants of Farmers Branch, has issues with “a couple of thousand accounts” that filed protests in early April. Those account holders received “confusing emails.”

Property owners are asked to check the status of their accounts by going online to their accounts and making sure it’s accurate.

The district is going to back this up with mailed notices to protesters.

So far, Spencer said 35,000 protests have been filed in Denton. There are 486,000 properties that are potential protestors.

“Just login to their online portal and check the status of their account,” he said.

Actually, that’s smart advice for everyone, even if you don’t live in Denton.

How much have market values changed?

Preliminary estimates from the Dallas Central Appraisal District show that market values for residential properties increased by 15.6% in 2024.


Early analysis from O’Conner Tax Reduction Experts shows single-family homes in Dallas County worth $250,000 or less saw their values increase by almost 16% while houses worth $1.5 million or more saw a 19.7% jump.

The 2024 jump is higher than in others in the metroplex. Each county may track that number a little differently.

Collin County reported a nearly 7% increase in residential market values this year. The market value for Denton County’s single-family residential properties was up 4.8%. Median home value is down 1.6% in Kaufman County, according to data provided to The Dallas Morning News.

On the fence?

If you still can’t decide whether to protest, you have a few hours. Read Watchdog Dave Lieber’s recent story on the A-Z basics of filing a protest.


Most should-I-file questions come from seniors 65 and over whose taxes are frozen, but not the appraised value. The appraised value will continue to increase every year.

Some property tax consultants advise seniors not to file a protest because their total savings after paying the consultant might be minimal.

But others say seniors should continue to file protests to keep the base rate down.

In either situation, filing a protest often results in a lower appraised value, even without a hearing.


Property tax relief

The Texas Legislature passed an $18 billion property tax relief bill in 2023 was expected lower the tax rate for all who file for a homestead exemption. It’s estimated that it will save the average taxpayer. That should mean an estimated $1,373 in tax savings per the average Texas homeowner.

But those savings could be challenged by rising property values and appraisals. The average selling price of a home in Dallas-Fort Worth was more than $400,000 in April, up 1.5% from the year before, even though higher interest rates have made home loans much more expensive. The number of homes on the market is finally increasing in the region, which should create a better market for buyers.

Revealing study

An eye-opening study by the University of Texas at Dallas of 79,000 Dallas property owners showed that a protester’s typical savings is $600, if they win.


In Dallas County, the study found that Republicans were more likely to protest than Democrats – 13% for R’s vs. 10% for D’s.

The study, called “My Taxes are Too Darn High” found that the more expensive the property, the more likely the owner will protest.

Lower-income and Hispanic homeowners are less likely to protest, the study found. That hurts because for low-income owners, any tax exemptions could be a greater percentage in savings than for high-income owners.

Hispanic property owners were 36% less likely to protest than white owners


Exasperated Denton chief appraiser Spencer said, “This will be the busiest day of our year. It’s never fun to have technical glitzes.”

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