Just purchased a Howard County home and wondering about the current property tax reassessment requirements? On page 9 of the Maryland Association of Realtors' Residential Contract of Sale, is paragraph 51, entitled "Property Tax Notice - 60 Day Appeal." And it reads, "If any real property is transferred after January 1 and before the beginning of the next taxable year to a new owner, the new owner may submit a written appeal as to a value or classification on or before 60 days after the date of the transfer."
There is a lot of information in these contracts. With a standard number of addenda, there can easily be 60+ pages. And just when a homebuyer's done digesting it, there are frequently HOA (Home Owner Association) docs and/or Condo docs, to go through next. It's sometimes hard work being a good consumer, but it's worth it! Make sure you understand the process of buying your home, and then the process of living in it. (HOA and condo regs, property taxes, etc.)
So back to your 60 Day appeal process for your property taxes. Given that Howard County property values have decreased over the past couple years -- and this is not all bad news - it means the homebuyer could purchase more home for less money - property taxes, based on assessed value, should have also decreased. However, they follow the market trends rather than leading them.
In Howard County, properties are reassessed every 3 years, so if a homeowner buys mid-cycle, it could be some time before the assessed value is changed, thus changing their property taxes, and paragraph #51, with the 60 Day Appeal period, is to their benefit.
The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation does a good job of listing out the Assessment Appeal Process:
- For purchasers of a property settling between January 1st and June 30th, the home buyers have a 60 day appeal period, in which to go forward and submit the assessment appeal paperwork.
- The paperwork, the Petition for Review of Real Property, can be submitted and the new home owner can either ask that the appeal process be completed in person, over the phone, or in writing.
- Additionally, for current homeowners who have not recently purchased, when you receive your Notice of Assessment (once every 3 years), you have a 45 day period from that day in order to follow the Assessment Appeal Process as well.
An appraisal of the home will not be necessary to include with the Petition. Rather, recent neighborhood sales comps should be sufficient to justify the decreased assessed value. If you would like assistance in identifying comps, let me know; I'd be happy to help.
Best regards, Gretchen