Assessment Appeal Process

While we strive to provide the most accurate assessments possible, Customers sometimes feel that the Department’s estimate of their property value is incorrect. The assessment appeal process allows property owners the opportunity to dispute the value determined by the Department. Property values rise and fall to reflect the market. Customers should file an appeal when the estimated value of their property does not accurately reflect what they believe to be its current market value.

Appeals may be filed on three occasions:

  1. upon receipt of an assessment notice;
  2. by a petition for review; and
  3. upon purchase of property between January 1 and June 30.

There are three options for an appeal:

  1. Personal Hearing
  2. Phone Hearing
  3. Written Appeal
    Appeals made in writing eliminate the need to attend a scheduled hearing or to call in by phone, eliminating the need for the customer to take time out of their busy schedule for a hearing. The Department attempts to prioritize appeals made in writing.

APPEAL ON REASSESSMENT

Customers will normally receive a Notice of Assessment every three years that shows the old market value as well as the new market value. The new value reflects the current market influences, any additions or changes to structures on the property, along with any other conditions that may be affecting the property’s value since the time of its last assessment.

If you decide to appeal, the first step is to file your appeal either online, or by replying to the Notice of Assessment by signing and returning the appeal form. Appeals must be filed within 45 days of the notice date. Depending on the volume of appeals for the jurisdiction in which the appeal is filed, every attempt is made to complete all reassessment appeals by June 1. 

PETITION FOR REVIEW

You may file a petition for review by the first working day following January 1, for the two years your property is not valued at reassessment. It is best to file a petition for review when events have occurred since your last regular assessment that you believe have caused your property value to decline. If you fail to respond to a Notice of Assessment within the required time frame, you may file a petition for the following year. Click here to obtain a Petition form . The completed form should be mailed to your local assessment office. After the petition has been received, a hearing will be scheduled after the following January 1. If you prefer, you may submit a written petition, so that the appeal can be reviewed, thus eliminating the need for a scheduled hearing.

APPEAL UPON PURCHASE

If you purchase a property and the property is transferred after January 1 but before July 1, you may file an appeal within 60 days of the transfer.  Click here to obtain a Petition for Review form. After the new owner’s petition for appeal has been received, the matter will be scheduled for a hearing. If you prefer, you may submit a written petition, so that the appeal can be reviewed, thus eliminating the need for a scheduled hearing. Please note that in order for the office to proceed with the appeal, the deed transferring ownership must be recorded with the local jurisdiction’s land records.

FIRST STEP - SUPERVISOR'S LEVEL

The first level of the appeal process, known as the Supervisor's level, is informal. The intent of the Supervisor's level appeal is the exchange of information. This is the opportunity for the property owner to discover as much as possible about the manner in which the appraisal was made. In addition, the owner should note any factors which may affect the value of the property under appeal. The hearing is conducted with an assessor designated by the Supervisor of Assessments. Typically, hearings at this level take approximately 15 minutes.

The Department provides a complementary property and Area Sales Listing to you at no cost prior to your scheduled hearing. Customers filing written appeals will also be provided this information so that it may be reviewed.

Customers have the right to postpone their hearing one time if the hearing date conflicts with their schedule. A postponed hearing is then rescheduled for the next available date.

The information on the property worksheet will be reviewed at the time of the hearing to assure its accuracy. The Area Sales Listing is provided to you by the Department for assistance in estimating the market value of your property.  Customers may also obtain sales data from other sources. Other sources may include; searching sales through our Online Real Property Search (provide link for Real Property Search), utilizing other sales publications, or real estate professionals in your area. For a nominal fee, property worksheets of comparable properties may be obtained from your local assessment office.
To be most effective, you should:
  • Focus on those points that affect the value of your property.
  • Indicate why the Total New Market Value does not reflect the market value of the property.
  • Identify any mathematical errors on the property worksheet or inaccurate information describing the characteristics of the property (such as the number of bathrooms, fireplaces, etc.).
  • Provide sales of comparable properties which support your findings as to the value of the property.
  • Avoid the following issues since they are not relevant to the value under appeal: comparison to past values, percent of increase, additional metropolitan costs, the amount of the tax bill, and services rendered or not rendered.

SECOND STEP - PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT APPEAL BOARD

Following the Supervisor’s Level hearing, you will receive a final notice. If you disagree with the decision, you can appeal to the next step which is to the Property Tax Assessment Appeals Board (PTAAB). This appeal must be filed within 30 days from the date of the final notice you received as a result of the Supervisor’s Level hearing.

PTAAB boards are located in each of the 24 jurisdictions. These boards are comprised of local residents of the jurisdiction who are recommended by the local government and appointed by the Governor. They are a separate and independent body from the Department. Customers generally need no assistance at this step, no fees are required, and they are free to present any supporting evidence, regardless of what was presented at the previous level appeal.

Hearing dates and times are determined by the members of PTAAB. If the hearing date conflicts with your schedule, the hearing may be postponed by contacting the local PTAAB clerk, however, no more than two postponements are granted at this level. You may elect to appeal in person or in writing.

Our Department provides a complementary property worksheet and a list of the comparable properties that will be used by the Department to support the Market Value of the property going before PTAAB. For more information regarding the Property Tax Assessment Appeals Board, please refer to their website www.ptaab.state.md.us.

THIRD STEP - MARYLAND TAX COURT

If you are dissatisfied with the decision made by the Property Tax Assessment Appeals Board, you have the option to file an appeal to the Maryland Tax Court (MTC) within 30 days of the date of the PTAAB order. The Maryland Tax Court is an independent body appointed by the Governor. Although the proceedings are more formal than the first two levels, it is still considered to be an informal administrative hearing. You must be present at the Maryland Tax Court appeal (no written hearings). There are no fees for filing an appeal to this level; hearings at this level are de novo, meaning nothing prior is considered. 

The Hearing date, time, and location are determined by the Clerk to the Maryland Tax Court. Requests for continuance (postponements of hearing date) must be made to their office and are reviewed through that body.

At this level, our Department may undertake a more formal appraisal of your property. The Petitioner and Respondent are to comply with Maryland Tax Court RULE 7 (Notice of Reliance on Other Properties – Service of List – 10 days), mandating an exchange of information for any property to be offered as evidence other than the subject of the appeal. The street address should be provided along with the following information relating to the purpose of its inclusion as evidence:

  1. For the purpose of showing a sale of any such property, the date of sale and sale price shall be stated.
  2. For the purpose of showing the assessment on a property, the amount of the assessment and year(s) for which the assessment was applicable shall be given.
  3. For purpose of showing construction cost, the amount of said cost shall be given and year(s) in which construction was begun and completed.
  4. For the purpose of showing income derived, a detailed statement of the income and expenses shall be given for the year(s) in which income was received.
For more information regarding the Maryland Tax Court Please refer to their website www.taxcourt.maryland.gov. Property owners who are in disagreement with the Maryland Tax Court’s decision can appeal further through the judiciary system, where appellants are advised to utilize legal counsel.