Money Matters

Property Tax Alert for Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC

On this page you’ll find Information on how some homeowners may be able to reduce their property tax bill and – for Maryland homeowners – how you can make sure you receive your Homestead Tax Credit (the discount you receive if you live in your home).

Real Estate Values Have Fallen – Are Your Property Taxes Going Up?

Because of some recent changes to how property taxes were handled, we decided to do some research into how real estate values compared to the assessed property tax value.  For many of the homes we researched, property tax assessments were much higher than what the actual value of the property would be if it were sold in today’s real estate market. 

What makes matters worse is that homes are only assessed every few years.  So if it was a seller’s market and real estate property values were on the rise when your home was assessed, your property taxes will automatically rise – even if the actual value of your home has fallen.  This is what prompted us to send the postcard that likely directed you to this site.

For Example:  If the value of your home was $500,000 a year ago, your assessed tax value could have easily increased by 10% up to $550,000 today.  Given current market conditions, the value of that same home could have dropped 10% from its year ago value of $500,000 down to $450,000.  In this example, the assessed tax value of your home could be $100,000 higher than the actual value.

The property taxes you pay are based on the assessed value.  If the assessed value of your home is higher than the actual value, you are paying too much property tax.  To see if your home has this problem, you first need to find the assessed value of your home by clicking the appropriate link below and searching for your address.

Maryland Homeowners (Click Here)
Virginia Homeowners (Click Here)
     Alexandria
     Arlington

Now go to my MLS Search – Homes for Sale page (Click Here) and search the homes for sale in your area by simply drawing a box around your neighborhood on the map.  If you find that the assessed tax value of your home is higher than the price of the homes for sale, you may be paying more property taxes than you need to.  If you need help, feel free to give us a call.

If you would like to contest your property tax assessment, you will need to find the county tax assessment office in your area and go through their process for an appeal.  If your assessment is higher than it should be, you will likely need comparable home sales information when appealing the bill.  We can provide this information for you.
 
We hope this information helps you save some money.

Maryland Homestead Tax Credit – Changes That Could Cost You Money

Effective late last year, a new law enacted by the 2007 session of the Maryland General Assembly requires ALL HOMEOWNERS to make a one-time application in order to be eligible to receive or continue receiving their Homestead Tax Credit.  The Homestead Tax Credit Law protects homeowners from getting hit with large property tax increases due to higher real estate values and limits how much your property taxes can increase in a given year by between 2 and 10%, depending on where you live in Maryland.

The change in the law was made to recoup tax losses from property owners who were incorrectly receiving the credit.  The credit is intended for Maryland property owners to receive on the one property used as their principal residence and not on properties such as rental or vacation homes.

The next time you receive a tax assessment from the State of Maryland, the application you need should be included with the assessment.  If you don’t complete this form, your Maryland property tax bill could jump by hundreds of dollars per year.

If you would like to learn more visit: http://www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/homestead.html
To find the application online visit: https://sdathtc.resiusa.org/homestead/

We hope this information has been helpful to you!

Todd & Kara

PS:  If you’re thinking about buying a new home, please try our new MLS Home Search Tool or simply give us a call.  It's a buyer's market and a great time to buy a home!  We look forward to hearing from you.


Questions? Just Ask!