Property reassessments out of cycle
Wonk reader Wick asks, "If I buy a Baltimore City home that is assessed at 100k for a purchase price of 200k, and the home was just assessed (11/08, at 100k) so is not due for re-assessment for 2 more years, will they reassess as soon as I buy the home? Or, will the 100k assessment hold until next 3-year assessment is due, and by then I'll be protected and can apply for homestead credit?"
I put the question to the state Department of Assessments and Taxation. Henry Sikorski, state supervisor of assessments, said Wick doesn't need to worry -- unless there's recent new construction on the home that the state hasn't assessed.
The state will do assessments out of cycle for major work on a home, typically over $100,000 in value. It will also reassess if a vacant lot is built upon or if the property use changes, say from commercial to condo, Sikorski said.
Paying $200,000 for a home the state assessed at $100,000 doesn't in itself prompt the state to come swooping in. "We don't go in and reassess on sales," he said.
Hope that helps, Wick (and anyone else out there pondering the same thing). Oh, and don't forget to apply for that homestead credit. New buyers have a six-month window.