57 Comment

  • Christ! My assessment went up 19%.

  • Mine was up 16%, but it’s still slightly less than the house appraised for when I refinanced, so I won’t be appealing.I guess the taxable increase cap will save me a few bucks this year, but it’ll catch up next year.

  • Mine is up 15%–mostly due to the land. The amount more you can pay though is capped at 10% I believe.

  • We just bought our house, so I a guessing there is no point in appealing, but in the weak (as the deputy mayor said) hill east housing market my appraisal went up for 25%

  • They appear to just add 10% annually to my tax assesment. I have had success appealing, but you need to follow up several times with the office to get a response.

  • They appear to just add 10% annually to my tax assesment. I have had success appealing, but you need to follow up several times with the office to get a response.

  • My assessed value was up %15.3, almost all due to land value increase of $100k (up about 1/3). Taxable assessment is up 10% (capped). My tax has increased the maximum 10% 3 of the last 4 years. πŸ™

    • I’m guessing that you still pay well below market rates though, right? Get out of here with the frowny face.

      • No, it went up 46% after we moved in in 2010 and at the time our assessed value was almost exactly what we paid for the house. There was one or two crazy sales on our block this summer (houses went way over asking) and I think they’ve skewed things up. πŸ™ πŸ™ double-frown

        • but at least I have new super-cans to show for it. πŸ™‚

        • Ah – sorry to hear that then! My general understanding was that OTR tries to stand just under the market rates so as to avoid dealing with lots of appeals, but it sounds like they screwed the pooch here!

  • Ugh. Mine went up an outrageous amount and is once again higher than a unit in the same row home that has more square footage and an extra bedroom. How is that possible? I appealed last year armed not just with that logic but also with an up to date appraisal to no avail, so not sure how much good appealing this year will do. Is it too much to ask that DC government employees to do their job competently and with common sense, especially when their lack thereof hits our pocketbooks?

    • Did they follow up with you or schedule a meeting?

      • I had a phone hearing where I got the impression it would be lowered, then received a letter saying my appeal was denied. I didn’t take it any further because I didn’t think it was worth my time.

  • I just filed an appeal. I refinanced about 10 months ago and the appraisal then was $50,000 less than what DC is proposing! Redic!

  • Hm, mine is about $100K less than what my house was appraised for when we bought it in 2012. I’m really confused how they determine the assessed value. We’re on the low end for our block, but definitely not the lowest either. It’s kind of all over the board.

  • 48% in Trinidad. Though it’s just a smidge over what we bought it for in 2012, so I suppose we don’t have much of a case, even though that is an absurd jump.

  • $100,000 increase on our appraisal year over year. UNREAL.

  • Has anyone appealed and had their property taxes go up as a result? Just curious – we are still below our refi appraisal value but our condo went up in 2015 while our neighbors nearly identical condo went down.

  • Our skyrocketed too. Anyone else feel like they just roll the dice and assume they’ll make boatloads from folks (like myself) who are too lazy to appeal?

    • Even if your assessment skyrocketed, the taxable value can’t go up by more than 10% a year as long as it’s your primary residence and you’re receiving the homestead deduction. Our value went up by $100K, but our taxable value went up by $40K, which equates to maybe $800 more. I’m not keen on having my taxes go up by the maximum amount allowed every year, but I’m still paying well below market rate, so I guess I should count myself lucky.

      • If you are a homeowner of the property you should be paying 0.85% on the taxable assessment so that’s $340 on 40K increase in assessment.

      • True, but that only applies to those receiving the Homestead Deduction. If your house is over-assessed, you can take comfort in the fact that the increase is capped by 10% annually, but if you ever rent out the unit, then you’re at the mercy of whatever crazy tax assessment OTR determines.

        Seems to me that it’s in your benefit to appeal if there’s a possibility that you’d rent it out in the future. If successful, it might not stop the train, but it’ll slow it down enough so that when it hits, it’s not super painful.

    • is your assessment more than your comps? i bet not.

  • jim_ed

    Up 20%, same as last year. Thank god for the homestead deduction and 10% rate cap. Together they’re saving us $1000 / year.

  • According the appeals form:

    “The Real Property Tax Administration (RPTA) strives to assess property at 100% of estimated market value. Estimated market value is defined as the most probable price that a buyer would pay a willing seller on the open market.”

    So do they also take into consideration other factors and just don’t say so on the form?

  • just to recap to ensure I am correct: are you all saying that if my taxable assessment went up over 10% (last year was at $400k, this year is at $500k), I can (and should) appeal? I recieve the homestead deduction, so its actually valued at more…but that total value is still less than what it was appraised for 6 months ago.

    I know some people will say if its under the market rate, then i shouldnt appeal, but if there really is a 10% increase cap, might as well fight it as itll give me future gains.

    Also, if I appeal is there the chance that they might raise my assessed value?

    • If you paid taxes on 400k last year, you’re paying taxes on 440k this upcoming year. Only way it’s worth appealing is if you think that your appeal would end up with your property being assessed below 440k – otherwise you are wasting your time and that of municipal workers.

  • Welcome to loose monetary policy. You can’t have it both ways.

  • The property information on my assessment is incorrect. For some reason the square footage is overstated by about 600 square feet. My house is like 1800–they list 2450ish. The glossary on the DC tax records web site makes it clear that a finished basement square footage is not counted. Which only leaves my attic as possibility for the square footage. I think counting the attic (which has pull down stairs, but no fixed stairs) bogus, because while it has a floor, it is not heated or cooled. On the other hand, my baths under counted by 1.5. Im inclined to call it a wash and leave it alone. The city records have been wrong for years and years on the square footage. Any thoughts on this? Should I appeal on the vastly wrong square footage because it would outweigh the bath misstatement. Any one appear on this basis?

    • I have this issue too of our square footage being incorrect but have not yet appealed it yet, will do when the property taxes shoot up. I recommend appealing it as this will affect you not just this year but for every following year. Have evidence from a professional of your actual square footage. Good luck.

  • Mine went up 6.8%. I’ll take it. Property database shows that owner of house next door is stealing the Homestead Deduction (owner rents it out, lives in Virginia).

  • According to the City Paper, the neighborhoods with the biggest increases were:
    Trinidad (24 percent)
    Petworth (18 percent)
    Brookland (17 percent)
    Columbia Heights (16 percent)
    LeDroit Park (15 percent).

  • Does anyone know how to change your mailing address with OTR? Certified mail documents keep getting sent to my former rental address.

  • Ours went up over 25% in Columbia Heights. I still don’t completely understand how a 2BR/2BA ground floor unit that sold for under $400,000 is now worth about $490,000. I do understand that my taxes won’t go up much, but is it worth appealing to keep the assessment at a fair market value? We do not rent it out now, but may in a year or two.

  • Can we take a poll for those who have had success appealing on the First Level Administrative Review vs those who were rejected?

    • I wonder if this is like the parking ajudication process – they pretty much reject everyone on the first denial over the web/mail, and force you to come to the DMV in order to do it in person. Most wont take the time b/c the money lost (work hours, etc) is more than the ticket.

    • i filed an appeal last year — and still have not had any sort of follow-up interview. So – i don’t know?

  • Weird. My land value went down (I live between Logan and U) but my overall assessment went up around 12%. It is still about $150k below market rate so I’m not complaining.

  • Our assessed value went up $78k this year (about 22%), which is $78.5k more than we paid for the house in 2012… There are 3 houses (also duplexes) that look comparable to ours that are about the same price meaning it’s not worth appealing EXCEPT that they are 3/4 mile closer to metro. Any advice on whether we have a case to appeal or if OTR will throw out a location argument? I would think that being a mile from metro would lower our house assessment.

    • Wow. From the time I’ve owned my home, my assessment has always been drastically lower than the actual value and even the purchase price except for now. The assessment for 2015 now matches my original purchase price from 9yrs ago. But its about 140k less than what my latest appraisal came in at.

      • Ours was basically foreclosed in 2010/11 then flipped, so our assessed value was quite low in 2012, a little higher for 2013, on par with our 2012 assessment for 2014, but made this huge jump for 2015. Wondering where I can figure out if location plays enough of a role in the assessment that it’s worth appealing.

    • Look at land vs improvement value. Do you have the same land value as the ones closer to a metro? To your closer neighbors with similar sized lots but different houses? Land is going to be more difficult to appeal, because it’s more standardized to your neighbors.

  • Ours went up more than 26%, and while I appreciate their optimism, there’s absolutely no way that is a realistic assessment (if it was, I’d sell tomorrow). Does anyone have a sense of whether it is better to request an in-person hearing, a telephonic hearing, or have the appeal decided on the papers? I’d rather not waste my time going to a hearing, but I have a sneaking suspicion that written petiitons will go nowhere.

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