Property Tax Assessment Appeals Attorney Hanover, MD
Some of the most common ad valorem taxes imposed are real property taxes and personal property taxes. While not paid at the federal level, in nearly every state and local jurisdiction in the United States, a tax is charged to the owner or user of property based upon some valuation of that property. Although the rates may appear low, if applied to the fair market value of the property without reduction, these resulting taxes can be significant for both homeowners and businesses. For businesses owning significant personal property, failure to properly categorize, depreciate, and claim exemptions for this property can result in significant overpayment. Many taxpayers are not aware of available procedural rules limiting increases in assessed values and available exemptions. Worse yet, taxing authorities are quick to try to raise tax rates in times of budget shortfalls and use methodologies that can frequently result in overvaluation of real estate and personal property. Crepeau Mourges has the experience you need to ensure that you are minimizing the taxes related to owning real estate and personal property.
Common Issues for Real and Personal Property Taxes
Value-based taxes, such as real property taxes and personal property taxes, are one of the main ways that state and local governments raise revenue for needed government services. The framework of these taxes varies from place to place, but there are generally a few main factors involved: valuation, classification, available exemptions and phase-ins, and tax rates. Depending upon the location of the property, there may be a state tax, a county tax, or even a city or town tax. These taxes are sometimes expressed in percentage rates and, other times, are expressed as millage rates. Different jurisdictions impose different exemptions based on the type or use of property, the type of owner of the property, the maximum increase permitted from year-to-year, different rates of depreciation, and other factors. Furthermore, different jurisdictions have different methodologies for the valuation of real property and when new valuations can occur. Finally, depending upon the jurisdiction and type of property, tax assessments are subject to different administrative appeals and litigation paths at different time intervals. Crepeau Mourges is well-versed in the various statutory and administrative frameworks and has helped many property owners to qualify for exemptions and to minimize assessments by advocating in both administrative appeals and in litigation.
Example: Real Property Taxes in Maryland
In Maryland, real property tax rates range from just under one percent in some counties to over two percent in Baltimore City. (Personal property taxes are assessed at a different rate, typically much higher than real property taxes.) Assessments are typically made on a triennial basis and are subject to appeal when re-assessed, unless an in-cycle appeal is filed in the interim or a basis for re-assessment exists (e.g., recent sale, construction, or change in zoning). Assessments are typically made by mass appraisal and are made at fair market value. Fair market value is usually determined by examining recent comparable sales or by applying a capitalization rate to the income of a commercial property. Property owners must affirmatively raise and renew the application of exemptions, such as use by a government or non-profit entity or for other statutorily recognized reasons. To challenge an assessment, the owner of real property must appeal to the Supervisor of Assessments, then to the applicable Property Tax Assessment Appeals Board, and then to the Maryland Tax Court.
How Our Focus and Experience Can Benefit You
While there are many issues that property owners face in this area, Crepeau Mourges is prepared to provide needed insight. We can help you to plan for and identify available exemptions and explain how additional taxes may phase in over time. We can explain the classification of real and personal property, how different rates may apply, and how depreciation and other techniques can be used to minimize annual taxes. Crepeau Mourges can explain the administrative options available in the event that a property tas assessment is made or if conditions warrant making an in-cycle appeal. Finally, if administrative appeals or litigation benefit a client from a cost-benefit perspective, we will zealously advocate by presenting evidence on valuation, the availability of exemptions, and by using expert witnesses to bolster your case.
The attorneys of Crepeau Mourges set themselves apart from others in this field by combining an advanced knowledge of real estate economics, the finer points of valuations and appraisals, and the ability to litigate vigorously for our clients. We have significantly reduced clients’ yearly taxes by planning, applying for, and preserving exemptions and by successfully litigating for the reduction in assessments. Call Crepeau Mourges today to find out more about how we can help you to minimize your tax exposure. Alternative fee arrangements, including flat fees and contingent fees, are available.