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How to Protest Tax Assessment???

Posted by mzdee (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 5, 07 at 13:45

So, I've been in this house ~3 mos. Paid ~ 500K. Believe me...buys nothing in MD (DC metro area). 1/4 acre. The former owner was paying ~4K in taxes. The tax year begins in July and I'm looking at a 2K increase already.

At one point, the market was booming, but now houses in this same area are going for mid 400s (desparate sellers, but nontheless...)

How can I begin to protest this increase; supposedly based on fair market value. A 2K increase is huge. I may have to eat it, but I'd like a fair fight.

Help please.................

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How to Protest Tax Assessment???

I called our county assessment office and discussed it with them on the phone. They had made a few errors, so they fixed it. That's all I had to do.

That said, if your increase is based on FMV (what you paid), they may not be able to do anything about it.

RE: How to Protest Tax Assessment???

Call your county assessment office.

If the former owner was paying $4000.00 a year, unless you really increased the livable square feet with an addition, I doubt if the taxes will go up much no matter what you paid.

RE: How to Protest Tax Assessment???


I used to work as an assessor's agent here in NH. I don't know Maryland/DC area property assessment rules or laws but let me suggest two options:

1) Verify that all the information on your tax card, (available from your assessing authority) is correct. It could be that the former owner did something like finish a basement or add space that didn't get picked up on the property record until you purchased the house. Or, they may have taken down a garage or filled in a pool and you're still assessed for it. Make sure you're paying on what is there.

2) Look at the assessed value of the house with regard to market value. If the old assessment was based on an older assessed value from a prior sale and that your increase in taxes is due to a revaluation which has considered the new sale then there's not much you can do.

Another reason your taxes may have gone up is that the tax rate may have changed although it would have to have done so on a huge level to get the kind of changes you're talking about.

Make sure you talk to the assessing authorities and get the dates for filing and necessary forms and then at least file your claim. In all cases usually the burden of the proof is on you except where there are errors on your card.

Also, look at your card before you call an assessor to come by. If there are more features and living space in the house than are listed on the tax card, that may increase your valuation and therefore your taxes it may be better to keep quiet. I went to a taxpayer's house who was constesting his assessment and he had added a porch and finished his basement after his purchase. It wasn't good news for him that day. Good luck.

RE: How to Protest Tax Assessment???

Could possibly be like in FL.. Homeowners rates are limited as to going up, but once they sell, the taxes are re-adjusted to the new sales (assessment) price.

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