About Your Tax Bill…

2011_assessment_map

Last week the Washington City Paper published the neighborhood-by-neighborhood map of how residential real estate assessments rose or fell from 2008 to 2009. It came as no big surprise to GM that Georgetown’s numbers were down. Specifically, the total assessment of Georgetown residential property fell from $3,743,858,260 to $3,666,092,440, a 2.08% drop.

So does that mean Georgetowners can expect a lower tax bill next year?

Probably not, unless you’re a recent newcomer.

As explained by Jack Evans to the ANC on Monday night, most homeowners don’t really pay taxes on the full assessment of their property. The year-over-year increase of taxable value is capped at 10%. Thus if your home doubled in assessed value, your taxes will only go up 10%.  So if your home, like most homes in Georgetown, saw large increases in value before the Great Recession, your taxable value is still probably catching up, even if your actual assessment went down.

Adding to the confusion is that the Council passed a law last year requiring that not withstanding the cap, you have to at least pay 40% of the assessed value.

It’s a bit of a kick in the shins to see your home value go down while seeing your tax bill rise, but without those caps your bill would be even higher. So, you win some, you lose some.

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