On Friday, July 31st, Tarrant Appraisal District (TAD) mailed an official notice, in the form of a yellow postcard, to approximately 750,000 distinct Tarrant County area property owners announcing one new and one existing method for obtaining consolidated information about the property tax rate approval process. The notice is required by a new State law passed in 2019 regarding tax transparency and was presented with the verbiage prescribed by the model form of the State Comptroller’s Property Tax Assistance Division (PTAD):
Since that mailing, suspicion and conspiracy theories abound across social media presuming that this is a scam. It is not. The main sticking points seem to be (1) the public’s unfamiliarity with this new law and its notice requirement, (2) that the postcards have a return address of TAD but directs property owners to contact the Tarrant County Tax-Assessor Collector’s Office (TCTO) for more information, and (3) the proper way to enter TarrantTaxInfo.com into the users’ chosen web browser. For item #1 – this is now the law. For item #2 – this is the prescribed format by the State. However, for item #3 regarding direct access to TarrantTaxInfo.com – the issue has been with some users’ preferred way to use their chosen search engine (like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) with their chosen web browser (like Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Edge, etc.).
On the postcards, TAD chose to provide a shortened, user-friendly, website address – TarrantTaxInfo.com – that could be entered directly into the address bar of a web browser for direct access to the website. This was tested and worked successfully on all of the web browsers on all of the personal computers, Apple computers, tablets, and smart phones we tested – and again, yes, we tested this approach multiple times under multiple conditions. The reason we presented the website address in this manner was to avoid the difficulty many users encounter when entering a lengthy URL, and the inherent bias of search engines to list sponsored, advertisement-based results. These results are prone to misinterpretation as the site a user sought out when it most definitely is not.
Recent postings on social media claim that TarrantTaxInfo.com required a fee of them to proceed with searches, etc. – it does not. Property owners have already funded TarrantTaxInfo.com through their past property tax payments. Unfortunately some users clicked on sites from search engine results, not TarrantTaxInfo.com, that prompted them to then pay for public information readily available at TAD.org, TCTO’s website, and TarrantTaxInfo.com.
TarrantTaxInfo.com … it’s a service not a scam. Please share this fact with your family, friends, and neighbors.