City Desk

City Property Assessments Drop by 6 Percent

The assessed value of city property has dropped by about six percent since a year ago, the Office of Tax and Revenue announced this morning.

But the news might not be great for homeowners looking for a break on their upcoming tax bills: Most of the drop is due to falling commercial property values; residential properties have declined only 3.7 percent on average over last year.

Not only has the commercial property market been increasingly weak, but city assessments have been taking a beating through the appeals process—with commercial landlords having their tax bills in some cases drastically cut on appeal, it has affected city revenue projections, in turn complicating the city budgeting process.

A quick look at residential assessment data broken down by neighborhood shows that the middle-class Ward 7 communities of Hillcrest (-15.3 percent), Fort Dupont Park (-11.0 percent), and Randle Heights (-10.8 percent) took some of the most drastic plunges. Traditionally upscale neighborhoods in Wards 2 and 3—Kalorama, Georgetown, Spring Valley, Chevy Chase, Palisades—saw much less precipitous drops, of 2.5 percent of less. The Glover Park, Central (West End), Kent, and Berkley (Foxhall) neighborhoods actually saw modest rises in value.

Assessments will be mailed to households before the end of the day today; property owners have until April 1 to file appeals. Full press release after the jump.

GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
OFFICE OF TAX AND REVENUE

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 26, 2010

DC's Assessments Reflect a Slight Decrease in Real Estate Values

(Washington, DC) — The Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) announced that it will begin to mail assessment notices to all real property owners in the District of Columbia today. A total of 190,000 taxable and exempt real properties have been reassessed to reflect current market values as of January 1, 2010. The overall change in assessments for all taxable properties in the District is – 6 percent from the previous year’s assessment.

“The Tax Year 2011 assessments reflect a real estate market in the District of Columbia that has declined in some areas but is attempting to stabilize in others,” said Richie McKeithen, director of the Real Property Tax Administration.

Property owners are encouraged to review their assessment notice upon receipt. The 2011 notices contain not only the proposed assessed value for a property, but also the estimated taxable assessment and important information related to property tax relief programs such as the homestead benefit and the owner-occupied residential tax credit. Included on the notice is the assigned assessor’s contact information for taxpayers who wish to discuss their assessment. The property owners will not be taxed on the new assessed value until March 2011.

Property owners who believe that their assessment is not equitable in comparison with similar properties or that their assessment does not reflect the market value must file an appeal with OTR’s Real Property Tax Administration by or before April 1. Information about the appeal process and the assessment appeal application is available on OTR’s website at taxpayerservicecenter.com under “Real Property Service Center.”

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  • denise

    Don't anyone get the happies. Even if my assessment goes down, my taxes will still go up due to the cicuit breaker provisions, that is that the tax you pay could not go up more than 10 percent a year no matter how much your assessment jumped. This only helps people who bought recently in the hot market and were taxed on the full assessment. For example my assessment went down between 2009 and 2010 but the taxable portion of my asessment went up so my taxes went up.

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