As property owners face tax deadline, some want to set deadlines for state

Marylanders unhappy with how the state has valued their home for tax purposes face a fast-approaching Feb. 13 deadline to file appeals.Now some people say it's the state's turn to face some deadlines too.A bill up for debate in the General Assembly would...

As property owners face tax deadline, some want to set deadlines for state

Marylanders unhappy with how the state has valued their home for tax purposes face a fast-approaching Feb. 13 deadline to file appeals.

Now some people say it's the state's turn to face some deadlines too.

A bill up for debate in the General Assembly would require the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation to hold a hearing for petitioners within 90 days.

The measure is aimed at reducing the stress — and extended timeline — of the state's complicated, three-level process for property tax appeals, which can take months, or years, to be resolved.

"They require us to respond to their reassements within a required period of time," said Adam Borden, 41, a Guilford homeowner who is still trying to resolve an appeal he filed a year ago. "It seems only fair that they should have to do the same."

Property values in Maryland rose for the fourth year in a row in the new assessments released Wednesday by the state but remain below those recorded before the housing crash.

Home values in Maryland rose an average of 6.4 percent over the last three years, according to the most recent evaluations,...

Property values in Maryland rose for the fourth year in a row in the new assessments released Wednesday by the state but remain below those recorded before the housing crash.

Home values in Maryland rose an average of 6.4 percent over the last three years, according to the most recent evaluations,...

The State Department of Assessments and Taxation values a third of properties each year for tax purposes, sending notices at the end of December to some 700,000 property owners.

About 3 percent appeal within the required 45-day window — or what the department estimated at nearly 22,000 people last year. Baltimore City typically has a higher rate of appeals than the rest of the state.

The bill, sponsored by Del. Mary Washington, would require the department to schedule hearings within 90 days of appeals at the first and second levels — to department supervisors and the property tax assessment appeals board — and inform people of a decision within 30 days.

The bill also would keep the value of the property unchanged if the department doesn't respond in a timely fashion.

Washington, who took on the issue after being approached by Borden, said she's not worried the rule would burden the department, saying there could be opportunities to resolve more things remotely.

"We have a responsibility as a state to be responsive," she said. "As taxpayers, we have a deadline to appeal, so we should expect a reasonable response."

The State Department of Assessments and Taxation has not taken a position on the bill, but its representatives plan to meet with Washington about it, said spokesman Corbett Webb. Last year, more than 90 percent of the appeals received by the department, the first recourse for homeowners, were resolved by July 1, he said.

nsherman@baltsun.com

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

You need to login to comment.

Please register or login.

RELATED NEWS