• 2012 Maryland Property Tax Reassessments: Potential Implications for Commercial Real Estate
  • December 6, 2011 | Author: Christopher M. Ruhlen
  • Law Firm: Lerch, Early & Brewer, Chartered - Bethesda Office
  • As a result of continuing recessionary conditions, residential property assessments throughout Maryland have gravitated to below-market levels throughout the last three years. The same cannot be said for commercial properties, which generally have not been similarly lowered to reflect the soft real estate market. At the same time, local governments have been reluctant to raise property tax rates during this period, and increasingly have pressured assessment offices to maintain or increase assessments for commercial properties in an effort to generate revenues to offset budgetary shortfalls. This pressure to maintain values has resulted in inequitable tax burdens for many owners, as commercial property owners continue to struggle with high vacancy rates and depressed market conditions.

    On January 1, 2012, each local office of the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation will issue reassessment notices for properties located in Assessment Area 3 (for purposes of reassessment, each county is geographically divided into three areas, with the real property within each area comprehensively reassessed every three years). These reassessment notices will provide an opportunity for owners to appeal the taxable assessment for the upcoming three year period.

    White Flint, Silver Spring, Rockville and Others in North and East To Be Reassessed; Others May Be Able to Review

    In Montgomery County, Assessment Area 3 will include important commercial properties in the areas of White Flint, Silver Spring, the City of Rockville, and other properties in the northern and easternmost portions of the County. However, owners of commercial properties in areas that are not subject to the upcoming triennial reassessment also may be able to initiate reviews of their current assessments if they meet certain reporting obligations and other preconditions.