1. Learn about this resource. 

Residents have the right to request that we—the DC Government—take another look at their property value assessment. Every year we conduct assessments to update our estimate of every home’s market value as of January 1. This value is used to calculate how much is owed in property tax on that home. After we conduct the assessments, we mail Notices of Assessment in February, but you can always access the current assessment at My Tax DC. If you disagree with the property value assessment, you can request an appeal.

 

This process is called the Real Property Assessment and Appeals Process and is run by the DC Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR).

2. Check if you are eligible.

You are eligible if you are responsible for paying the property taxes on a DC propertyYou do not need to live in DC to appeal the property value assessment. The property could be a residential property, business, nonprofit, or religious institution.

appeal your property value assessment?

DO YOU WANT TO

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4. Gather more information.

What happens after I apply?


  1. Your meeting with the assessor will be about 15 minutes. During that time, you’ll explain your reasoning for appealing and talk through your supporting documents. You have the option not to meet with your assessor and instead, they will make their decision based on the documents you submit.
  2. Within about 10 business days from your meeting/submission, the assessor will mail a Decision Notice with their conclusion. Depending on the volume of appeals you should receive a Decision Notice no later than August 1 (postmarked by).
  3. Your new property value assessment will be reflected in your September bill.
If you are satisfied with the decision, there is nothing more you need to do. The updated property value will be reflected in DC Government records. If you are not satisfied with the decision, you can begin a second level appeal with the Real Property Tax Appeal Commission (RPTAC), an independent body. Your Decision Notice will include information on how to request a hearing. (You can find out more about what happens at a hearing below.) In a typical year, about 2% of properties (residential and commercial) will request a second level appeal. If you are not satisfied with RPTAC’s decision you can move to a third and final appeal level with the DC Superior Court. In a typical year about 800 properties will request a third level appeal. The vast majority are commercial properties.




Are there any additional requirements I should know about?


No. Filing the appeal on time is most important.




Who should I contact if I have questions?


First, take a look at the frequently asked questions at the bottom of the page. If you still have questions, please reach out to our Real Property Tax Administration at 202-442-6796, Monday to Friday, 8:15 am to 5:30 pm. Or, you can email the team at property.appeal@dc.gov using the subject line “Residential Property Assessment Appeal.” Be prepared with your property’s Square Suffix Lot (SSL) and the property owner’s name. The caller must be the property owner or an authorized representative.




I still need help paying my property taxes. What should I do?


You can find information about other resources that might help you save on taxes on our resource page.




Frequently Asked Questions


What happens at the second level appeal with RPTAC? At a second level appeal, you and your DC Government assessor will appear before a three-person RPTAC panel sometime between late August and December. During this hearing, both you and the DC Government assessor will have the chance to share documentation that backs up your assessment of the property’s value. The panel will ask you clarifying questions and take notes. After about 20 business days, RPTAC will then mail you and your assessor a decision with their rationale and any changes to the property value will be reflected in DC Government’s records. What happens at the third level appeal with the DC Superior Court? A third level appeal follows a similar process as RPTAC, but in a courtroom setting. Can I have someone else represent me at the appeal(s)? Yes. You are welcome to have anyone (e.g. family member, friend, or lawyer) represent you at any level of appeal. You will need to sign an Agent Authorization form granting us—the DC Government—the ability to talk with that person about your appeal. Having a representative is not required. If I appeal, am I prevented from appealing again in the future? No. Each year is independent from the previous ones. You always have the right to appeal the annual property assessment. Who is my assessor? An assessor is assigned to your property. This is the person who comes up with the dollar value of your property each year and is the person you will interact with if you choose to appeal. Their name is included on your home’s listing in the DC Real Property Assessment Database. Just search your address to find their name. Is the appeal process the same for commercial properties? Yes. The appeal process is the same.




Do all eligible applicants get the chance to appeal?


Yes. All property owners have the right to appeal DC Government’s assessment, however, this does not guarantee a change to your assessment. In a typical year about 4.5% of property assessments (residential and commercial) are appealed.





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Keywords: homeowners, right to appeal, annual property value assessment, paying property taxes, lower my property taxes, reconsider, reexamine, retry, homeownership

 

This page was last updated March 2021.

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