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Real Property Tax Appeals Commission

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Things to Know Before You Begin

Things to Know Before You Begin

Before you start preparing and submitting your Real Property Assessment Appeal Form*, here are a few things you should know about the appeals process:
Proposed Assessments: When exercising your right to appeal, you are appealing your proposed real property assessment, and not your tax bill.  The amount of your tax bill is determined by the prevailing tax rates, applied, based on the classification of your property.

Five Percent Requirement:  You may appeal your real property assessment if your value is 5% higher or lower than estimated market value.

Valuation Period For The Proposed Assessments: Your proposed real property assessment is based on sales activities that occurred prior to January 1st, of the current year.  The valuation period, of which the Board may consider evidence, i.e. sales data, appraisals, inspection reports, etc., is no later than January 1st , of the current year.  Except in cases where properties have transferred ownership after January 1st.

Tax Rates:  Tax rates are not the basis for an assessment appeal.  Only the amount of the assessment can be appealed.  Once you receive your tax bill, it is too late to file an appeal with the Board of Real Property Assessments and Appeals for that year’s assessment.

Cap on Taxes Paid:  Legislation passed by the Council of the District of Columbia placed a 10% cap on your property bill, not your assessment.  As a result, your tax year 2008 tax bill cannot increase more than 10% above your tax year 2007 bill.

Note: The residential tax cap only applies to property owners in class one, receiving the homestead exemption.  Should the property change ownership, the new owner must file for the homestead exemption to receive the benefit of the 10% cap on the tax bill.  For more information, you may visit the Office of Tax and Revenue's website.