Up and Down: DC Home Owners Receive Property Tax Assessments

by Mark Wellborn

Residential building in Central DC

Earlier this week, DC’s Office of Tax and Revenue began sending out tax assessment notices to the city’s property owners, and the overall change for the assessed value of residential properties is a mere .12 percent. Thirty five percent of properties increased or showed no change in taxable value while 65 percent decreased by some degree.

Areas with the biggest drops were Lily Ponds along Kenilworth Avenue east of the Anacostia River (-10.1 percent), Hillcrest (-9.16 percent), Deanwood (-8.89 percent) and Fort Dupont Park (-7.87 percent). Last year, the hardest hit neighborhoods were Hillcrest (-15 percent), Congress Heights (-13.2 percent), Deanwood (-12.6 percent) and Randle Heights (-10.8 percent).

Some neighborhoods saw assessments rise, and the three leading the way were Garfield (+7.25 percent), Central (+5.35 percent) and Massachusetts Avenue Heights (3.92 percent). Last year, the top neighborhoods were Berkley (+5.1 percent), Kent (+3.51 percent) and Central (+2.09 percent).

The assessment notices that property owners receive include the proposed assessed value for a property and also the estimated taxable assessment. If an owner wants to contest the assessment, they must file an appeal with DC’s Office of Tax and Revenue Real Property Tax Administration by April 1st.

For the DC government’s full list of percentage change by neighborhood, click here.

* Garfield is a small subdivision just west of the National Zoo that is usually considered part of Woodley Park.
* Central is an area that includes sections south of Dupont Circle and the West End.

See other articles related to: taxes, tax assessments

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/up_and_down_dc_home_owners_property_tax_assessments/3099


  1. Q-Street said at 12:58 pm on Friday March 4, 2011:

    My assessment went down slightly in Shaw.

    The neighborhood has gotten better in the last year AND I get lower taxes? Yes please.

  1. CHguy said at 1:00 pm on Friday March 4, 2011:

    I live in Columbia heights and saw mine go up 4.3% a year after it went up 5%

  1. LG said at 1:11 pm on Friday March 4, 2011:

    Mine went up about 2% in Logan.

  1. shaw said at 2:48 pm on Friday March 4, 2011:

    Odd—I live in shaw as well and mine went significant up (by over 5%)

  1. pmt said at 4:04 pm on Friday March 4, 2011:

    Mine is up $68,000 and is over $100,000 more than we paid less than 2 years ago.  Yes, I’m appealling.  Anyone have any advice on the appeals process?

  1. Rayful Edmond said at 4:05 pm on Friday March 4, 2011:

    My assessment dropped 7 percent. Woot woot!

  1. PleasantPlainer said at 6:31 pm on Friday March 4, 2011:

    Also dropped, and Pleasant Plains didn’t even make the list!

  1. anon said at 6:47 pm on Friday March 4, 2011:

    Mine went up < %.2 miniscule!

  1. anon said at 6:48 pm on Friday March 4, 2011:

    Cap Hill

  1. LB said at 9:12 pm on Friday March 4, 2011:

    I live in Columbia Heights and mine went down by more than 10%. How should I interpret that? Is my part of the neighborhood getting worse?

  1. aj said at 10:50 am on Monday March 7, 2011:

    I live in Adams Morgan/Dupont and mine went down. I’m OK with that wink

  1. rdhd said at 12:26 pm on Monday March 7, 2011:

    Wesley Heights/Cathedral Heights and mine went down—by a bunch (no firm number at hand).  Am I the only one UNhappy with this?  My assessment is now way lower than my remaining mortgage and is less than what I could realistically expect to get if I sold.

  1. Joe said at 3:27 pm on Monday March 7, 2011:

    <<Anyone have any advice on the appeals process? >>

    I successfully appealed the tax assessment on my Brookland property last year. I forget by how much it was reduced, but it was at least $50k.

    The process for appealing is located at http://otr.cfo.dc.gov/otr/cwp/view,a,1330,q,594359.asp Note that your appeal deadline is April 1st for this year.

    The key to a successful appeal is to provide a list of comparable houses in your neighborhood that have RECENTLY sold for less than what you are being assessed—preferably within the last year. A site like Franklymls.com can help you compile that information.

    Another option is to pay to get an appraisal, which in turn will pull the most comparable recent sales. It would probably prove highly persuasive.

  1. anon said at 4:47 pm on Monday March 7, 2011:

    @rdhd:  Assessment going down = less taxes and that is about it.  It is not tied to the market value of the property in any real sense.

  1. Jonathan said at 9:16 pm on Monday March 7, 2011:

    As far as how are assessments determined it is completely based on comparable sales in the neighborhood.

    For those of you have owned in your property for years (say over 8 years) then you may see an increase in the assessment. Why you ask? Simply put, your property value has likely increased.

    For those who have owned for less than 8 years old you may have bought at the height of the market and thus you assessment may become lower due to that fact you bought high.

    Two things to keep in mind about assessments:

    First, they can also be based in one part on prior value but any renovations may be included into the equation which would generally increase your property’s value and thus your assessment.

    Second, is you live in your property you likely have the homestead deduction which lowers your assessment by $67,500. Make sure you read the bill correctly. Also make sure that if you live in the property that you have homestead deduction. For those of you whom are Landlords you may have lost your deduction since it is not considered your principal residence and thus you are not eligible and so your actual tax owed may have increased despite your assessment.

    Finally, for those of you worried about how closely it is tied to the market. Keep in mind the assessors office is generally conservative in its estimates of market value and thus while tied to the market is usually not at market rate but slightly below.

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