Haunted House, or: The Dead Occasionally Qualify for Property Tax Exemptions

Here's the latest report from Craig Kinton's office: Audit Report on Inappropriate Tax Exemptions and Delinquent Property Taxes, which the mayor and the Dallas City Council were given on Friday. But the short version: The City Auditor's Office went through the Dallas Central Appraisal District records and discovered that 35 property owners who've been dead since 2006 are still claiming property tax exemptions. Which seems like a low number, till you look at the amount of revenue the auditor says that has cost the Dallas Independent School District, the city of Dallas, Parkland Hospital, Dallas County and the county's community colleges -- a combined $193,330 in 2007, '08 and '09 tax revenues. (The city lost $63,666 out of that -- wait ... "666"?)

But, don't worry: DCAD's on top of it. Says the report, "Because erroneous tax exemptions reduce tax revenues for the tax agencies DCAD serves, DCAD will perform annual exemption audits to eliminate exemptions taxpayers no longer qualify to retain, due to ownership changes, death of qualifying taxpayers, etc. These audits will insure that the tax burden for the taxpaying public is fairly and equitably distributed."

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky