Tax (Property) Appeal Tips
(1) Assessments are often based on rehab dwelling conditions, which you may not have had done.
(2) When appealing, start off by describing the front wall & work your way around & into your house (i.e., is it a newly repointed brick wall or form stone? Is the HVAC, plumbing, etc. updated? Explain other factors such as there is a bar nearby or whatever would negatively affect the value of your house.)
(3) The Dept. of Taxation does not factor in properties being sold by banks, although that is a real market in this neighborhood. If you have to sell your house you may have to compete with homes that are bank foreclosures.
(4) When going to your appeal, bring evidence of properties that have been on the market for the last 12 months & have not sold at the pricing point asked. Every sale in Baltimore City is transferred to a state website – go to http://www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/real.html. Look for MD property search – Do not type in your full address; just type in your street name & it will show all the houses on that street. Another good source is www.zillow.com.
(5) Request both your worksheet & your area sales analysis from the tax assessments office (both are free). This will show which properties they used to determine the value of your property; do not go to your hearing without this. Look at the sales that they didn’t use. Find out the value of the house a block away that the bank unloaded – the market value is being redefined since so many are bank owned & you are competing with that. That means it’s a part of the market share; so help them redefine it. Let them know that you’ll go to the property tax appeal board with 5 sales the city didn’t use as comps in the assessment.
(6) Bargain within 20% – don’t try to get your value cut to half.
(7) Don’t try to use numbers that the previous owner was paying in taxes because they may have had different credits (such as under the Homestead Credit, etc.).
(8) Unite with other community associations; there were a lot of people served by off-site hearings before they unofficially stopped doing them. (However, UFPIA won’t be able to get one this year.)
(9) It is against the law for tax assessments to be raised when you appeal. But if the information shows that you have new construction on your property during the appeals process, this will be reflected through an increase in the next 3 years tax cycle.
(10) After your hearing, you will get a final notice. If you disagree you can appeal within 30 days to the next step, the Property Tax Assessment Appeal Board. If you are dissatisfied, file an appeal to the final step, MD Tax Court.