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Appealing your DC Property Tax Assessment

The office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) recently mailed our notices of Proposed Real Property Assessment for the upcoming tax year to all property owners in Washington, DC. If your property assessment has risen to a place where you think it is above market value, you may want to appeal your assessment.

Home values in DC have increased and that is good news from an equity perspective and also is helpful when you go to sell your home. However, this increase in value results in higher property taxes. My experience shows that most DC properties are assessed under their actual market value. That being said, if your value is coming in over what you suspect is market value, you may want to appeal your assessment.

You can find all of your tax account information at the newly designed

Here are steps to take to make your appeal:

  1. Start immediately collecting information so you don’t miss the deadline by which you must file your appeal

  2. Collect supporting information for your appeal. Examples include:

    1. Your settlement statement if your purchase price was under the assessed value and you purchased recently.

    2. An assessment for insurance purposes

    3. Comparable sales. If you need a market analysis send me an email. I am happy to put together a custom analysis for you.

    4. Online estimators (Zillow, Redfin, etc.). While I certainly don’t place much weight on these automated valuations when it comes to a sales perspective, yet if they support your opinion that your assessment is too high, there is no reason not to use them for this purpose.

    5. Compare your property features seen online at your tax bill to what you actually have. Does it list more rooms that you have for example? If you need help finding this document online, let me know.

    6. Are there environmental factors that could be affecting your value? Document those. Some DC residents successfully fought their bills when the flight patterns into and out of Washington Reagan were changed resulting in planes flying over their homes.

  3. Make sure your proposed value is realistic otherwise it will not be taken seriously.

  4. Ensure you turn in your appeal on time or early. If it is late, it will likely not be considered.

  5. If possible, plan to attend your hearing in person. Be prepared with additional copies of your supporting documents and be ready to explain any mitigating circumstances that the tax assessor may not know about.

Now is also a great time to confirm that you are receiving any deductions you qualify for including the DC Homestead deduction or the senior citizen/disabled property owner tax relief. Not sure how to check for these deductions? Send me an email as I am happy to help.

Lastly, if your assessed value is under what you believe is correct, don’t do a thing. But if it is over, work on the documents to make an appeal to see if you have enough evidence to try.

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