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2013 Maryland Property Tax Reassessments: Tax Rate Increases Also Must Be Considered

Real Estate Law Update

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.

Lerch, Early & Brewer attorneys Marty Hutt and Chris Ruhlen have significant experience with commercial assessment issues and regularly assist clients with the real estate assessment appeal process. If you own or lease commercial property and receive a reassessment notice that you believe is too high, or otherwise seek advice concerning your current assessment, we encourage you to contact us to discuss options for seeking relief. You may reach Marty at (301) 657-0170 or mjhutt@lerchearly.com, or Chris at (301) 841-3834 or cmruhlen@lerchearly.com.
 

This content is for your information only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Please consult your attorney before acting on any information contained here.

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