DALLAS BUSINESS JOURNAL: PROPERTY TAX VALUATIONS RISE FOR SOME APARTMENTS, HOTELS

Property tax valuations have risen in Dallas-Fort Worth this year for apartments, hotels and well-located land — reflecting activity in the real estate market.

The valuations are dependent opon the class of the apartments, or the revenue of the hotels, but appraisal districts are upping the value of these properties, said Amish Gupta, chief operating officer at Real Estate Tax Consultants Group.

The firm, which is headed up by Gupta’s father, Virendra K. Gupta, reviews property tax valuations for about 5,000 properties each year.

“In 2012, we are anticipating that property values will be back up this year, especially for multifamily and hospitality properties,” Gupta said. “The biggest mistake a property owner can make is not looking at their property taxes.”

The majority of property tax valuations have been issued, and property owners have until May 31, or 30 days after the date on the notice to file an appeal.

But not all property owners will receive a notice if the property values stay the same or decrease — even though they can still go online and file a protest, said Joshua Estes, partner at Estes and Gandhi P.C. of Dallas, a property tax firm.

“The usual trigger for property owners is getting the notice in the mail, but if they don’t get a notice, they don’t think about it until later in the summer and that’s too late,” Estes said.

Estes said he expects Class A apartment properties and hotels with increasing revenue to see a bump in property tax valuations.

By how much? Estes said he’s seen some Class A apartment properties see an increase up to 15 percent.

Either way, Gupta and Estes say property owners should take a look at their property tax valuations.

“At the end of the day, property taxes can be the highest expense for an owner,” Gupta said. “If you’re not making your debt obligation, you can kiss your asset good-bye.”