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Experts are available to help you with assessment appeals

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

Posted on February 09, 2005:

Senator Dyson Valentines Day is coming up on February 14 and Iím sure you are out getting a card or cards for your loved ones. Itís a day that celebrates love. You may be also going to the post office to buy a stamp to send these cards out. I suggest to property owners in Southern Maryland that they purchase another one for a very different reason.

Recently, I wrote to all of my constituents to appeal the outrageous property tax assessments that were mailed out on the last day of last year. I urge you to do that again since February 14 is the last day you have to file an appeal of your tax assessments. After that, you are stuck with the governmentís view of what your property is worth.

However, according to the state assessment office, appeals are often successful. Once you file an appeal, the tax assessor sits down with you basically engages in a friendly back and forth conversation about your property. They understand that you know more about your property than they do.

For instance, they may not know how many bathrooms you have or whether your basement is finished or not. They may not know if you have problems with termites, land erosion, your septic system or water in your basement for instance.

Anything that is unique about your property that adversely affects the value of your home is all taken into account by the assessor during the appeal process.

Some may worry that if you file an appeal and reveal everything you know about your home, that the information will become public. It wonít. This is strictly private information to which no one can gain access.

Also important is that you do not need to retain a lawyer or any other property tax expert. All the tax assessor needs is information from you.

You donít have anything to lose in this process. If you believe your property has been assessed too high, appeal immediately. You donít have much time left. The tax assessor is not your enemy.

If you accept your assessment as is, even if it is overinflated, you will be taxed at that level. Your local government canít wait to get their hands on this new revenue because it allows increased spending without raising the property tax rate.

For more information, donít hesitate to contact the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation at (410) 767-1184, toll free at (888) 246-5941 or the number listed on your assessment notice.

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

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