• 2013 Maryland Property Tax Reassessments: Tax Rate Increases Also Must Be Considered
  • November 12, 2012 | Author: Christopher M. Ruhlen
  • Law Firm: Lerch, Early & Brewer, Chartered - Bethesda Office
  • On January 1, 2013, the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation will issue reassessment notices for properties located in Assessment Area 1. In Montgomery County, Assessment Area 1 includes important commercial properties in areas of Silver Spring, Wheaton, Aspen Hill, North Bethesda, the I-270 Corridor and elsewhere.

    The State's three-year assessment cycle (whereby only one third of the geographic area within each jurisdiction is reassessed in any given year), does not always reflect current market valuations. Many private parties continue to experience soft commercial property values as a result of the uncertain economy and increasing vacancy rates. Some in the multifamily market have seen stronger demand, but still face considerable uncertainty in values. Additionally, in order to offset budgetary deficits produced by continuing declines in the overall assessment base, local governments have raised property tax rates to maintain revenues.

    As a result, commercial property owners—who continue to struggle with high vacancy rates and depressed market conditions—should closely evaluate not only the assessed values of their properties but also newly applicable tax rates in order to avoid inequitable tax outcomes.

    The reassessment notices for Assessment Area 1 will provide an opportunity for property owners to appeal the taxable assessment for the upcoming three year period. All appeals must be filed before the deadline stated in the reassessment notice. 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.