Most folks in Penn Branch just received their 2011 Property Tax Assessments and if you're like most of us, you had to have been shocked, in most cases, by major decreases in assessed values for our homes. We all understand that the assessed value is based on fair market value. You hear about home values in the area declining by double digits. However, when you see valuation decreases in the range of 20% to 25% in one year, that should trigger a red flag!
It also begs the question, how do Penn Branch assessments compare to assessments in other parts of town? If one were to review the assessments in other neighborhoods, would one see the steep declines, in say, Berkley, American University Park, Cleveland Park or Forest Hills? Probably not. Why? Also, why does the value of the "land" component of the assessment decrease? How would the assessor know to decrease the "home improvement" component of the assessment, especially when no one has actually inspected the premises? And, finally, why would the assessed tax, after all of the aforementioned declines, increase?
Surely, someone can answer these questions. Otherwise, there is a 900 lb. gorilla in the room.