Property Tax Assessment – Appeal?

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Topic: Property Tax Assessment – Appeal?

Real Estate March 2, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Property Tax Assessment – Appeal?

Dear PoPville,

We just got our Proposed Real Property Assessment for 2015 and it went up $76k from the 2014 proposed assessment – about $80k more than we paid for the house 2 years ago. It’s good for our investment that the house has increased, but this seems a bit fast and high! According to the listserv, it seems that quite a few people have experienced $50k to $100k increases and there are discussions of appealing the assessments by the April 1 deadline.

3 questions: 1) Are there any negative consequences to appealing/lowering the assessment of our house? 2) The other 3 duplexes/multi family homes sold in the last year in Brookland varied by 100k with our proposed in the middle but all are 3/4 mile closer to metro than ours, so could I use the distance from metro to appeal for the lower assessed value? 3) Is appealing worth it?

Thanks for any thoughts/guidance!

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I appealed my assessment in 2012 and was successful–got it lowered by $40K. But I had to go all the way to the 2nd level administrative hearing. The 1st level call with the inspector was useless. Basically he just said he disagreed with my argument, and that was that.

My only advice is to make sure you are well armed with the facts, and make sure they all come from DC’s own assessment database. When my inspector, who was at the hearing, responded to my spreadsheets by saying, “…how can we trust your figures?” I responded, “These are DC’s stats…not mine. To the extent that there are errors, they are *your* errors.”

Good luck. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but I found the experience very satisfying. Will it have a future impact on your assessment? (In other words…will DC retaliate?) Not that I’ve seen.

After buying the crappiest rowhouse on a Truxton Circle block back in 2009, I appealed the tax assessment on the grounds that my house was assessed at a higher value than all of my neighbors, whose homes have an identical footprint, while my house was a previously-squatted gut-job and my neighbors’ houses were nice and perfectly livable. My appeal was successful and resulted in a reduction of more than $50,000. All I remember bringing to the hearing where photos of them crappy/disgusting interior of my home. Good luck!

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