Tag Archives: Property Tax

Q 4 2019 Newsletter Video Audio Podcast Review By John Kvale

Welcome to our Video and Audio Podcast Review of our Q 4 2019 Newsletter. For those on the road or just unable to grab the time to read, our podcast type review gives you the behind the scenes insight to our thoughts, observations and deep views of the entire Newsletter.

Click Here for direct link to an electronic version (an early peek-good ole fashion paper versions are on their way to you shortly) and here for our Newsletter page

Let’s get going!

Q 4 2019 Newsletter

Click for PDF/printable version of Newsletter


And here is your review!

Is it Time to Refinance?

With Mortgage rates moving lower, we discuss the major items to think of when refinancing your Mortgage.

Our most clever point is we like to have an 18 month payback for the costs when refinancing… this serves as a good barometer on when to refinance, irrespective of the size of your Mortgage.


30 Year US Avg Mortgage Rate


Tariff Talk

It’s been going on for a long time

Trade Wars AKA Tariff talks have been around for a long time. This is not our first rodeo… notice how trade has been more efficient over time!


us-trade-wars-history Cropped

End of Year Tax Reminders

While there are a lot of reach back tax items i.e. Things we can do next year for this years taxes… there are many that have a firm year end deadline-

  • RMD – Required Minimum Distributions
  • Company Related Retirement plans i.e. 401k
  • Charitable Donations
  • 529 and other education programs

We hope you enjoy … talk to you in ….. 2020 WOOOW !!!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.

A Much Forgotten But Fast Growing Expense Reminder: Personal Property Taxes!

With multiple inner circle friends and clients expressing fatigue at the escalating Property Tax bill… we set off to do some research. Our most interesting findings are when we feel like we are on an island, and no one else is discussing a subject …

With very little public information on the subject of Personal Property Taxes (think Home/Car) in just a step for steppers like fashion, we turned to our investment resources for some possible clarity –

It took us a lot longer than we thought to find sources that would connect the dots of the puzzle of escalating Property Taxes, but here is what we found!

Total US Property Tax Collections 1987 to Present

US State Local Property Taxes 1988 to 2018

Total Property Tax Percentage Change Year Over Year 1987 to 2018

US State and Local Property Tax Percentage Increase 1987 to 2018

The average annual increase since 1987 is 4.8%%  Why?

Case Shiller National Home Price Index 1987 to 2018

Case Shiller Average Home Price 1987 to 2019

Oh no ….

This is an annual 3.9% growth from 1987 to present –

So asset prices have increased at a 3.9% pace over the last 30 years but taxes at 4.8%?

May not seem like much, but over time IT IS….

3.9 V 4.8 House Growth Versus Tax Growth

We do not want you to think conspiracy or other… just be aware that tax rates are growing faster than assets rates…. oddly, per our Social Security Retirement discussion, wage growth is growing much faster than inflation…leading to a better standard of living, which tax rates are more correlated with…. additionally there are certain municipalities across the country that have struggling finances and are taking more aggressive measures to shore up the coffers.

Bottom line: Property Taxes are growing at a rate MUCH faster than our assets … if you are buying an asset, especially a house, keep an eye on the Property Tax Amount!

Have a Great “Tax Growth versus Asset Growth Rate” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.

Clumping – A must given new tax laws … Friday

We are finally digging our teeth into the new tax laws … they are not 100% set in stone yet as there are many unanswered items… and likely IRS statements that will clarify and change items as the year progresses…

There is one item we are pretty confident-

Clumping of Expenses

We are going to speak at length on this over the year, so not to worry about being reminded…

The new standard deduction amount is $12k – Making for a hefty hurdle to itemize for married couples ($24k), especially with a NEW $10k SALT (State and Local Taxes) deduction limit…

Clumping TaxesAre your eyes glazed over yet? It’s ok, we will be digging deeper into this throughout the year ….

Drawing from IRA’s is also in play under the appropriate circumstances … look for more on this shortly as well…

Today is a Friday … and while a little heavier than our normal post for the weekend … it sets us up for what is to come on our tax talks… get out and have some fun … talk to you next week!

Oh… and for those wondering, the 13 year old had 9 matches total and won 6 – in some VERY HOT conditions… All good!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.

Protesting that Property Tax – While your there double check your Homestead Exemption too…

Those in the Dallas area know it as DCAD or the Dallas County Appraisal District … the agency that assesses our home property values and then sends us the nice green paper page with the damage due later in the year…..

Property Tax Protest


If you think your property value has been accessed too high … thereby making your property taxes too high, you may want to protest… Using DCAD or Dallas as an example, there are three different waves of property values accessments that go out at different times, each with different deadlines. (Only one per family, just three different mailings.)

Bottom line, check with the controlling agency in your area for details.

We have found success with these protests when the data is clearly inflated, however we have had more failures than success.

One last item, we have found the greatest success with in-person visits rather than hiring an outside firm, as long as the request is reasonable.

In many cases a mailing or an on-line protest may be a good idea… again check with your controlling agency for details.

Do some legwork by checking other homes of similar nature against yours… while you may think yours is over stated, if you find it understated against similar properties in the respective agency, you might think twice before protesting.

Homesteading Your Home

In the state of Texas and many other states (but not all) across the country, homesteading your home will give you a discount on your property taxes.  Check your individual state for this option and generally you will have had to reside in the home on January 1 of the current year to complete a homestead. Again, check your state, but you will likely have no disadvantage to homesteading your home and will likely only be able to homestead your primary residence.

Here is a good definition of Homesteading from Wikipedia – our biggest favored option is again the discount on our taxes-

Homestead exemption laws typically have four primary features:

1 Preventing the forced sale of a home to meet the demands of creditors, usually except mortgages, mechanics liens, or sales to pay property taxes

2 Providing the surviving spouse with shelter

3 Providing an exemption from property taxes on a home

4 Allowing a tax-exempt homeowner to vote on property tax increases to homeowners over the threshold, by bond or millage requests

For the purposes of statutes, a homestead is the one primary residence of a person, and no other exemption can be claimed on any other property anywhere, even outside the boundaries of the jurisdiction in which the exemption is claimed.

In some states, homestead protection is automatic. In many states, however, homeowners receive the protections of the law only if they file a claim for homestead exemption with the state.

Have a good “Less Property Tax” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.

To clump or not to clump …. Property tax double payments in one year! Possible New Tax Plan Update

Tis the season for property tax payments for many across the country and most certainly here in the south, Texas. Wait just a second before paying that tax payment!

Break In – Possible New Tax Plan

We are very aware of the new tax plan being talked about and candidly the doubling of the standard deduction, and possible property tax cap deduction ($10k annual max) if actually passed may make this strategy less efficient. Our problem is time is running out to make our decision and we have no formal tax plan.

We are sending this post out under current tax laws, but acknowledge major tax overhaul MAY change the effectiveness.

To Clump or not to ClumpUncle Sam

Each year near the end of the tax year we like to remind folks that one of the few tax bills (and deductions for that matter) that we have total control of still is our property tax payments …. By paying two property tax payments in the same year, there may be more productive uses of funds.

  • Just under the standard deduction? – Check if doubling the payment in one year would move into a deductibility mode
  • Higher/Lower Income across major thresholds – If you have a HUGE income year your property tax payment will likely be phased out. If Uncle Sam is going to see little or none of you this year, it may be wise to hold that property tax payment until next year
  • High/Low Charitable/Donations year – Much the same as above –
  • Expecting something different in the next year – Think it out, you have control for once with this payment/deduction!

Reach out to us if you need help brainstorming…. that’s our job!

We expect to continue our tax related reminders as the year nears end, but we are being held hostage by the possible changes … December 15th marks the end of session for congress … a last minute passage will really hold our feet to the fire for analysis ! Bring it on, better late than never!

Have a Great “More Productive Write Off” Tax Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.


October 2015 Year End Tax and Financial Planning Tips, Capital Market Review (Video by John Kvale)

Welcome to our monthly Economic, Capital Market, and Financial Planning tip of the month.

This months Special Tax Financial Planning Tip of the month is not one, but two tips that may save you tax dollars before year end !

For those new to our writings, we touch on the most pertinent Financial “stuff” along with a video of my mug that has even more specialized details of the latest month as well as this post.

Ok…let’s go!


YouTube Direct Link 


Clump or Push those property taxes

  • If you are just under the standard deduction for itemizing, consider clumping your property taxes
  • If you had a very big year of income and may have phase outs of deductions, consider pushing those property taxes into another yearProperty Tax

In our clumping or pushing post, here we discussed in great detail a neat technique to maximize your property tax itemization write offs. Now is a good time to pull out last year’s tax return and review your options — we will be glad to help if you have any questions!

Roth Conversion to Offset Active Losses

  1. Flatten your loss – not lose it
  2. Possibly freely convert your taxable IRA into a Roth
  3. Future appreciation in your Roth will be without taxes – tax-free withdrawals tooRoth Conversion

In our Roth Conversion post we discussed in great detail a possible flattening of your income and losses should you find yourself in this situation – this is a complicated, but rewarding technique – if applicable!

Give us a call if you have any confusion/questions! Do not try any of these techniques without first visiting with you professional advisor!

The Bounce back

Never go all in or all out !

This graph from our Monthly video last month:

9-30-15 Vanguard Total World Equity

Seemed silly to just watch our hard earned funds slip — and slip !

Fast forward to the end of October — The Great Bounce !

10-30-15 Total World Index

Just another reason to NOT watch this on a monthly or even quarterly time frame — decades is more appropriate!

Have a Great Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, TX 75225JK Street Cents Logo