[UPDATE 8/21: The Apartment Tax Visualization Tool is online (see below)]
Just in time for DISD’s record-breaking $3.7 billion dollar bond package, we are putting the final touches on an online tax visualization app for renters. Renters, you say? Yes! Apartment renters are usually unaware of the tax impact on the rent they pay. In fact, renters tend to pay more tax on smaller square footages than homeowners.
Some apartment complexes pay millions of dollars, each year, in taxes. Most renters pay thousands of their rent dollars toward these taxes. These dollars go unnoticed because it is baked into the rent.
Public agencies are generally mum on this topic because they know the topic would not be popular--especially when they are trying to pitch things like large bond packages or tax increases. Apartment complexes tend to shy away from direct disclosures for a variety of reasons.
While houses are valued on the land and house, apartments are generally valued on income. The higher the rent per square foot, the higher the tax bill. Compounding this is the fact that renters cannot claim a "homestead exemption" the way they could if they owned a house.
Of course, most renters don't notice this. They simply notice a sharp rent increase when the lease renews (or they move apartments where these rent increases are already baked into the rent). The tax, paid by renters, on an average 1,000 square foot apartment has almost tripled since 2012.
Dallas property taxes (on residential and commercial properties) are already some of the highest in the country because of voter-approved bond packages, along with management deficits and waste in the City of Dallas and DISD.
Of course, we will have similar visualization tools for homeowners at some point (in case your tax bill isn’t enough)!
So stay tuned for analytics like you have never had access to before!