Every three years, one-third of the residential and commercial properties in Maryland are reassessed for property tax purposes. The assessments are staggered and rotate geographically within each county. For example, in Montgomery County, commercial properties located in Barnesville, Bethesda, Clarksburg, Damascus, Olney, Potomac and Poolesville will receive new notices of assessment in 2014. In Frederick County, commercial properties in the City of Frederick will receive new notices. In Prince George’s County, notices will be sent to commercial properties in Beltsville, Bowie, Clinton, Glenn Dale, Laurel, Lanham, Temple Hills and Upper Marlboro. In Howard County, commercial properties in Columbia, Clarksville, Elkridge, Jessup and Laurel are up for reassessment in 2014.
At the end of December, a new assessment notice is mailed by the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation (SDAT) to the property owner’s designated address. If the owner is dissatisfied with the assessment the owner has 45 days from the date of the notice to file an appeal. This generally means appeals must be filed by the second week of February.
Owners often file an appeal when they believe the assessment exceeds the fair market value of their property. For income producing properties an appeal could be based on a reduced cash flow to the property, higher tenant vacancies, increased operating expenses or increased risk in the marketplace resulting in higher capitalization rates. Or there may be miscalculations by the assessor, poor evaluations of comparable sales, a flawed cost approach to value, regulatory restrictions (such as downzoning the property), a refusal by the County to re-zone the property or the failure to consider vacant or demolished property as part of a redevelopment plan.
Miller, Miller & Canby has more than 30 years of experience in pursuing property tax appeals. Our attorneys have represented clients at the assessor level, before the Property Tax Assessment Appeals Board (PTAAB) and in the Maryland Tax Court. We have successfully appealed the assessments on industrial sites, warehouses, department stores, office buildings, retail stores, apartment buildings and land at various stages of development. Click here to learn more about our property tax appeal practice and representative tax assessment appeals.
If you have any questions concerning your property assessment or would like to file a property tax appeal, please contact Michael Campbell or James Thompson, attorneys in the firm’s litigation practice group.