2021 Real Property Taxes:

Deadlines Approaching for Appeals of Latest Triennial Reassessments

Chris RuhlenChris Ruhlen, Principal

This week, certain Maryland real property owners –those who own real property in “Assessment Area 3” of each county in the State – will begin receiving reassessment notices for the 2021 reassessment cycle from the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation. For assessment purposes, each county is divided into three geographic areas, which the State comprehensively reassesses on an alternating three-year basis. The Reassessment Areas by county can be found here.  

In Montgomery County, Assessment Area 3 includes significant commercial properties in White Flint, Silver Spring, the City of Rockville, and other properties in the northern and easternmost portions of the county.  In Prince George’s County, Assessment Area 3 includes similar properties in Hyattsville, Landover, New Carrollton, Upper Marlboro, and other areas located between the county’s eastern boundary and its geographic center. These areas are depicted in green on the maps below:

Each reassessment notice will propose to increase, decrease, or maintain the current assessed value of the owner’s land and improvements, upon which real property taxes for the 2021 levy year (beginning July 1, 2021 and ending June 30, 2022) will be based. Importantly, the notices also will provide an opportunity for property owners to appeal the proposed taxable assessment for the upcoming three year period, within 45 days of the mailing date specified in each notice. 

Owners of commercial properties outside of Assessment Area 3 that are not subject to reassessment in this cycle may also be able to initiate reviews of their current assessments if they meet certain reporting obligations and preconditions. Any revisions to assessed value resulting from such “out-of-cycle” appeals must be filed by December 31 and, if successful, would become effective in the 2022 levy year.

Given that the ongoing global pandemic is producing challenging economic conditions for many commercial property owners (characterized by increasing vacancy rates, uncertain market demand, and pressure to maintain or increase local government revenues), we anticipate that the volume of assessment appeals will be high in 2021. 

We have successfully handled many real estate tax appeals.  Should you own or lease commercial property and receive a reassessment notice that you believe is too high, I encourage you to contact us to seek advice concerning your current assessment as soon as possible. You can contact me directly at cmruhlen@lerchearly.com or 301-841-3834 or any of the attorneys in our Land Use Group.