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By Jeremy Chitlik, Senior Director, Real Property Tax | February 28, 2020

The District of Columbia tax year 2021 real estate assessments were released on February 28, 2020, and can be found online and in your postal delivery by March 6th. The deadline to appeal these values is only 30 days later on Wednesday, April 1st.

You can expect values to go up or down, depending on the property type and the neighborhood. But, believe it or not, your marketing may have a bigger impact than you realize. If your value increased more than you expected, look for these trigger words on your website, and in your lease listings: trophy, luxury, views.

Trophy, Class A and Class B offices are up. Class C will be relatively flat, but unfortunately, property owners have gutted the C office market in recent years.

Wait…aren’t there lots of C class buildings around the District?

Not if you look into the data being provided by the owners. As explained by Jeremy Chitlik, Senior Director of Real Property Tax, to a group of DC developers at our 7th Annual Real Estate Breakfast “Unfortunately, to DC there’s not really a C office anymore, because when you all list your buildings you put them in as a B. Even if it’s falling down it’s a B to you people, that doesn’t help us,” referring to his Tysons based real estate tax team that collectively has over 125 years appealing property assessments in the DMV.

Apartment assessments increased in the 7-8% range in the once secondary markets of Northeast and east of 15th Street. West of 15th Street, Class A is stable, while B and C actually decrease, thanks to the cap rates being used in assessment calculations.

Not sure if you should seek professional advice on your DC assessment appeals? Well, the cap rate that DC is using on all Trophy, aka anything built in the last three years, is 2.86%…

But don’t take my word for it. Jeremy Chitlik was the head of commercial assessments in Washington, DC before moving to the other side of the table eight years ago and now leads the Mid-Atlantic real property tax practice for Altus Group.

 

You still have time to appeal before the April 1st deadline! Accepting a value this year not only impacts your immediate tax liability but could have implications for appeal arguments in the years to come.

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