This article originally ran on UrbanTurf in June 2019.
Most DC homeowners received their property tax assessments in the mail earlier this year, while others may receive them after a new home purchase. For those who disagreed or took issue with those assessments, here is how you can appeal.
1. File as soon as possible. The Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) requires appeals be filed electronically on or before April 1. For new property owners, the form here must be filed within 45 days of receiving their assessment.
2. Call your assessor. The contact information for the person who assessed the property should be listed on the assessment. The assessor should be able to give you an idea as to why the home was assessed at that particular value and why it might have changed from prior assessments. The government’s assessment incorporates data from sales, construction permits, field visits and existing land values.
3. Gather evidence. OTR warns that your appeal should be specific and should have hard supporting evidence: “Please note that a successful appeal requires meaningful and accurate supporting information. Simply offering an opinion with no factual basis will probably not result in a reduced assessment.” Leading with strong evidence will put you on a better footing throughout the appeals process.
4. File a first-level appeal. You can claim that the assessment is incorrect based on the home’s estimated market value (using a recent appraisal, for example); equalization (comparing to similar properties); classification (the current use of the property); and property damage or condition. You can choose a written, phone or in-person hearing with OTR.
5. Appeal to the Real Property Tax Appeals Commission. If your first-level appeal is denied, you can appeal the assessment to the Real Property Tax Appeals Commission (RPTAC) within 45 days.
6. Appeal to the DC Superior Court. As a last resort, property owners can appeal RPTAC’s decision to the DC Superior Court.
This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/how-to-appeal-your-dc-property-tax-assessment/15508.
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