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Dallas Central Appraisal District Recovers from Cyberattack

By Trevor McAmis | April 19, 2023

Dallas Central Appraisal District Recovers from Cyberattack

Posted by Trevor McAmis on Apr 19, 2023 2:30:42 PM

The Dallas Central Appraisal District (DCAD) has bounced back from a cyberattack that significantly disrupted its operations from November 8, 2022, to January 19, 2023. Due to this, various crucial deadlines have been rescheduled, and the process has been altered.

If you need help filing your Dallas County Appeals, feel free to call us or fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

Site Recovery and FBI Investigation

  • The DCAD website is almost fully recovered from the ransomware attack, with most functions restored. Some services, such as homestead exemption applications, have been harder to access but are gradually becoming available.
  • After paying a ransom of $170,000, DCAD received a digital key to unlock their system, which only partially worked. Since then, information technology experts have been rebuilding the servers to restore full functionality.
  • The FBI is currently investigating the suspected cybercriminal group, Royal Ransomware, believed to be responsible for the attack on the Dallas Central Appraisal District and other appraisal districts in Texas.
  • While the FBI's primary focus is on catching the criminals and helping victims retrieve their information without paying a ransom, they do not put the pieces of a destroyed government or business network back together. This task is usually handled by internal IT employees or outside companies.
  • To prevent future attacks, DCAD has hired outside companies to monitor their system 24/7 for anything suspicious and to help back up all their files offsite.

 

New Filing Deadlines and Procedures

The new deadline for submitting renditions and applying for business personal property rendition extensions is April 17, 2023.

For the 2023 tax year, DCAD's online system will be unavailable for filing renditions or extensions, unlike in the past. Instead, filings for renditions and extensions will be accepted via email at 2023renditions@dcad.org.

Appraised Value Notices and Protest Deadlines

  • The initial batch of real property notices of appraised value will be sent on April 21, 2023, with a protest deadline of May 22, 2023.
  • Business personal property value notices without rendition extensions will be sent on May 9, 2023, with a protest deadline of June 8, 2023.
  • Business personal property value notices with timely rendition extensions (utilities, leased equipment, residential and commercial accounts rendered, agricultural accounts and denials, and railroad corridor accounts) will be sent on May 26, 2023, with a protest deadline of June 26, 2023.

Updates and Records Management

DCAD has initiated the process of revising ownership records, exemption applications, mailing address updates, property values, property plats/splits, and open records requests following the onset of the cyberattack.

Tax Year 2023 Timeline - Important DCAD Dates

  • April 17, 2023: Deadline for filing renditions and requests for business personal property rendition extensions
  • April 21, 2023: First batch of real property notices of appraised value mailed
  • May 9, 2023: Second batch of notices of appraised value mailed (business personal property without rendition extensions, including leased equipment)
  • May 22, 2023: Protest deadline for real property accounts (first mailing)
  • May 26, 2023: Third batch of notices of appraised value mailed (business personal property with timely rendition extensions: utilities, leased equipment, residential and commercial accounts rendered, agricultural accounts and denials, and railroad corridor accounts)
  • June 8, 2023: Protest deadline for business personal property without rendition extensions, including leased equipment (second mailing)
  • June 26, 2023: Protest deadline for business personal property accounts with timely rendition extensions: utilities, leased equipment, residential and commercial accounts rendered, agricultural accounts and denials, and railroad corridor accounts (third mailing)

Source: https://www.dallascad.org/Calendar.aspx

Impact on Property Owners and Taxpayers

  • The ransomware attack created problems for some property owners, such as being unable to submit paperwork to show they reached 65 years of age, which would allow them to spread out their property tax payments into four equal installments.
  • Due to the attack, DCAD says this year's property appraisals will go out a week later than usual on April 21, and the protest window will extend to May 22.
  • Property owners who needed to pay property taxes before the Jan. 31 deadline were still able to do so, as the Dallas County tax office was not affected.

Resources for Property Owners

  • Homestead exemptions can be submitted online or in person, but the online system may not be functioning correctly due to the attack.
  • Property owners experiencing difficulties are encouraged to contact DCAD for assistance.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the deadline for paying property taxes?

The deadline for paying property taxes was Jan. 31, and the Dallas County tax office was not affected by the ransomware attack.

How can I file for a homestead exemption if the online system isn't working?

You can still submit your homestead exemption in person at the DCAD office.

When will this year's property appraisals be sent out?

Property appraisals will be sent out a week later than usual on April 21 due to the ransomware shutdown and the record entry backlog.

Topics: Insider, Property Tax Reduction

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