The Denton Central Appraisal District (DCAD) has seen a number of changes this year, from increased protests to new laws.
Roy Atwood, board commission member for the DCAD, gave an update on the direction of DCAD to the Carrollton City Council on Tuesday.
Atwood said the 2019 net taxable value for the DCAD is $108.2 billion, a 9.2-percent increase from last year. In addition, the appraisal district added more than $4 billion in new taxable value, including $2.5 billion in new residential properties and $1.5 billion in new commercial and multi-family properties. Also, the average residential market value was $338,712 this year, a 4-percent increase since 2018.
With the increased properties and property values, the DCAD is seeing more protests. Atwood said there have been 95,065 formal protests this year of which 63,104 were residential. In addition, the district had 3,445 appraisal review hearings, and about 86 percent of those resulted in changes.
Atwood said staffing has been a challenge for the DCAD as well as handling the extra demand of protests.
“We’re very concerned about wait times, we’re very concerned about making the process easier ... for people who want to challenge their appraisals,” he said.
A few years ago, the appraisal district began to hold protest hearings at Career Center East in Lewisville, giving Carrollton residents a location closer to them to challenge appraisals.
“That has worked out extremely well,” Atwood said. "The Lewisville Independent School District has been very generous with the space. It also provides us with a nice opportunity to test our offsite systems.”
Atwood said Denton County is a district that’s been growing exponentially over the last few years, prompting the DCAD to operate differently than in prior years. For instance, the district has changed some of its policies and added more internal audit positions.
“It’s going to give us more ability to have more internal audit people who can look for abnormalities,” Atwood said.
Atwood said the DCAD budget is going to increase over the next few years as it adds more staff to deal with the constantly increasing number of protests and the increased property evaluations in Denton County.
New laws have affected the appraisal district as well. In the last legislative session, a law passed that eliminates the ability of a chief appraiser to also be an elected official.
Chief Appraiser Rudy Durham, who also serves as the Mayor of Lewisville, has stated that he won’t step down from serving as mayor, meaning he will give up his job as chief appraiser.
Atwood said the DCAD has offered Durham a severance package.