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SDAT warns homeowners of misleading property assessment letter

Some homeowners being Misled by property assessment appeals flyers

6/24/2015, 6:30 a.m.
The State of Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation’s acting Director, Owen Charles, is warning property owners in Maryland to ...

— The State of Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation’s acting Director, Owen Charles, is warning property owners in Maryland to be on the alert for an official looking mailer from a private company with a misleading promise of a reduction in their property tax.

“SDAT was recently made aware of a mailing to Maryland homeowners that looks like an official notice from a government agency. The notice reads ‘real property over assessment important information for property owners.’ The company is offering to file an appeal on a property owner’s behalf for a filing fee of $99.00,” said Director Owen Charles. “I strongly urge any homeowner who receives this letter to be mindful of its content and of the filing fee. SDAT never charges a fee for filing a petition to review or for any other property assessment appeal. Also, the deadline for filing a Petition for Review with the department is December 31, not June 1 as the company’s letter indicates. SDAT is not a part of this questionable business practice in which there is no guarantee that an appeal will result in a property tax savings.”

Property owners have the right to appeal their property assessments. A property owner should file an appeal when they believe their property is not valued at current market value.

SDAT provides free filing of assessment appeals for homeowners to dispute the values determined by the department. There are three instances when appeals may be filed:

*Upon receipt of an assessment notice

*By a petition for review

*Upon purchase of property between January 1 and June 30.

For more information, specific guidelines on appealing property assessments, and a free petition form, visit SDAT’s website.