Appealing your property taxes is much easier than most people think. The State has a site with Tax Appeal information. Below we take you through the process.
Step 1) Figure out what your current property tax assessment is. Start at the State Department of Assessements and Taxation SDAT website. Select your County and click “Street Address”. Then enter the number and street name. Be careful not to enter the street name suffix (Road, Street, Avenue, etc.) Click on the Search button.
Step 2) Locate your value according to the State. Use the column entitled “Value As Of 01/01/20xx” The Phase-in Assessments are not what we are looking for. If you believe the value on the SDAT website is too high, consider appealing the value. The easiest way to compare other property values is to use the SDAT website and choose the search method of "property sales" to locate other properties that have sold in your area.
Step 3) Determine where you are on the three year cycle. All properties are reassessed every three years by the State of Maryland. Each year the State automatically reassesses one third of the properties. To determine which year is your year, look to the column entitled “Value As Of 01/01/20xx” This 01/01/20xx date is your three year cycle.
Step 4) If your property is due this year for its turn on the three year cycle, on or about January 1, you will receive a State of Maryland Assessment Notice. If you are satisfied with the new assessment, you do not need to do anything. However, if you are not satisfied, be sure to complete the appeal form located in the appeal package received with the January 1 assessment and return it timely.
Step 5) Most people are not aware that even if your property is not due this year for its turn on the three year cycle, you can still appeal the value. To appeal for an off year in the cycle, file the form from the State of Maryland website entitled "PETITION FOR REVIEW or NEW OWNER APPEAL OF REAL PROPERTY". A Petition for Review must be filed between July 1 - December 31.
Step 6) Suppose you recently purchased your property, between January 1 - June 30. Since you were not the owner during the required Petititon for Review time period of July 1 - December 31, you cannot file a Petition for Review. However, on the same form entitled "PETITION FOR REVIEW or NEW OWNER APPEAL OF REAL PROPERTY", you can choose the "New Owner Appeal" box and similarly appeal the value provided you file the new owner appeal within 60 days. Be sure to mention if your purchase transaction was an arms length sale and/or if the seller was represented by a real estate agent in order to add support for your value.