The office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) recently mailed a ‘Notice of Proposed Real Property Assessment For Tax Year 2020’ to all property owners in Washington, DC. We sure hope most homeowners were sitting down when they opened their mail that day! By-in-large assessed values went up across the entire District of Columbia so nearly everyone can expect to pay more in property taxes in 2020 than they do in 2019.
The good news is DC home values have continued a steady upward climb so most owners have more equity in their home today than they did a year ago (click HERE to find out what your home is currently worth). The less than ideal news is nearly all property owners will pay more in real property taxes as a result.
Our experience shows that most DC properties are assessed, for tax purposes, under their actual market value. That being said, early feedback from many of our clients is that some of the 2020 assessments are coming in over market value.
If you believe your assessed value is higher than actual market value then follow these steps for appealing:
- Start immediately! Your appeal must be received by April 1, 2019
- Collect supporting information for your appeal. Examples include:
- Your settlement statement if you purchased your home in the previous year
- A recent appraisal
- An assessment for insurance purposes
- Comparable sales. Need help with these? Reach out to us now; we’re happy to help!
- Online estimators (Zillow, Redfin, etc). We certainly don’t place much weight in these valuations from a sales perspective but if they support your narrative then there is no reason not to include them
- Be realistic in your proposed value if you want to be taken seriously.
- Start your first level appeals process online HERE
- If you have time, plan to attend your hearing in person. Show up prepared with additional copies of your supporting documentation and prepared to explain any mitigating circumstances that the tax assessor might not have known about.
Now is also a great time to confirm that you are receiving any deductions you qualify for including the DC Homestead deduction or the senior citizen/disabled property owner tax relief.
Bottom line: If your assessed value is under what you think your current market value is then let sleeping dogs lie. But appeal for sure if you think your tax assessed value is above market value. We’ve helped dozens of clients through this process and we’re happy to help you as well! Just give us a call or EMAIL us.