MD ASSESSMENT APPEALS PROCESS and Advice From a Real Estate Tax Appeal Consultant

Property owners sometimes feel that the State Department of Assessment and Taxation (SDAT)’s estimate of their property value, which determines the amount of annual real estate taxes they must pay, is too high. The assessment appeal process is available to allow property owners the opportunity to dispute the value determined by SDAT. Property values rise and fall to reflect the market. Property owners should file an appeal when they believe that their property is valued above current market value. Appeals may be filed on three occasions: 1) upon receipt of an assessment notice; 2) by a petition for review; and 3) upon purchase of property between January 1st and June 30th.

APPEAL ON REASSESSMENT Property owners will normally receive a Notice of Assessment every three years that shows the old assessed market value as well as the new assessed value. The new value reflects the market influence and other conditions affecting the property from the time of the last assessment. If you decide to appeal, the first step is to reply to the Notice of Assessment by signing and returning the appeal form within 45 days of the date of the notice. Following this, a face to face or telephone hearing will be scheduled. Appeals can also be made in writing, eliminating the need for a hearing.

APPEAL UPON PURCHASE If you purchase a property and the property is transferred after January 1 but before July 1, you may file an appeal within 60 days of the transfer. After filing a written appeal, you will be scheduled for a hearing; or, if you prefer, your written appeal can be reviewed instead of having a hearing.

PETITION FOR REVIEW You may file a petition for review in the two years that your property is not reassessed or if you purchase the property and the property is transferred between July 1st and December 31st. The petition must be filed by January 1st and will apply to the tax year beginning the following July 1st. In the case of a new purchase, you should show that the price that you paid is substantially less than the present assessed value. In all other cases, you should show that events have occurred since the last regular assessment to cause the property value to decline. After filing the petition, you will be scheduled for a hearing, or, if you prefer, it can be considered without a hearing.