Property reassesments: 17% drop in Md. home values since '08
A third of property owners in the state are about to get notices outlining their new assessments. If you're among the 631,000 homeowners in that group, chances are good that your assessed value is down.
Assessments for residential properties dropped an average of 17 percent statewide compared with the last time they were revalued in late 2008, the state Department of Assessments and Taxation says. About 90 percent of homes saw a decline.
Not sure whether you were due for reassessment? Check out these maps.
Thinking of appealing? Your deadline is Feb. 10 if you've just been reassessed; you'll get paperwork with your notice that you can mail back in.
If you're among the two-thirds of property owners who haven't just been reassessed, you can still appeal -- it's called a "petition for review" -- but your deadline is Jan. 3. (That's because it's the first business day after Jan. 1. Assessments chief Robert E. Young says the office will accept petitions delivered, emailed or postmarked that day.)
Oh, and if you happen to buy a home during the first six months of next year -- or any year -- you can have your appeal considered for the tax year beginning July 1 if you get it in within 60 days of transfer.
But as colleague Alison Knezevich notes, the local appeals boards have a backlog of thousands of cases. So the wait might be longer than you hoped. (Appeals boards hear "second-level" appeals, cases in which the property owner wasn't satisfied with the response to his or her appeal to the assessment agency.)
Not sure if you applied for the Homestead Property Tax Credit for owner-occupiers? If you haven't and you're being reassessed, you'll get an application with your notice. No application means you have applied.
Check the notice to make sure the property is on record as a principal residence, though -- if it's not, you'll want to get that fixed and make sure you really are all set application-wise.
Homeowners who bought before 2008 have until the end of 2012 to apply for the credit or they'll lose the break. Newer purchasers have had to apply soon after buying. The requirement is supposed to make it easier for the state to knock ineligible recipients off the rolls and keep people from collecting unwarranted credits in the future.
Let's see, let's see -- oh, yes, here's why your property-tax bill might rise in July even if your assessed value drops.
And no, the assessment agency won't strip your homestead credit because you had the temerity to appeal (assuming you're eligible for the tax break, of course), but successful appeals can result in credits shrinking or disappearing. Here's why.