FAQs About Evans/Catania 2004 Property Tax Cap

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Councilmember Evans would like to thank those residents who sent thanks for his persistence on the issue of the lowering the property tax cap rate from 25% to 12%. Co-sponsored with Councilmember Catania, this legislation will have major implications for all homeowners starting now. In response to many inquiries, Evans is providing these "Frequently Asked Questions" for your review.

What type of property tax relief did Evans and Catania help the Council to recently pass?

The Council placed a 12% cap on increased property tax bills. Meaning, that in any one year your bill cannot go up more than 12% from the previous year, regardless of how high your assessment has risen. The Council also increased the homestead deduction from its current level of $30,000 to $38,000.

When will I see this relief reflected in my property tax bill?

Both the 12% cap and the increase in the homestead deduction will take place this year — property tax year 2004. These changes will be reflected in the property tax bill you will receive the first week of March.

The 2005 property tax assessments will be mailed out in February, what happens if my assessment continues to rise sharply?

The 12% cap means that regardless of how high your assessment rises, the amount you owe (your actual bill) will not go up more than 12% in any one year.

Can I take advantage of the 12% cap in the same year that I bought my home?

Purchasers of owner-occupied residences may not take advantage of the cap on property tax increases until the second year of ownership. The first cycle of tax assessment/tax billing is not subject to the 12% cap on tax increases.

Councilman Jack Evans is working with DC Office of Tax & Revenue to develop legislation that would enable a purchaser to appeal the assessment in year 1 of ownership.

Is the Council contemplating any further property tax relief?

Yes, Evans believes the homestead deduction should be increased further, and indexed for inflation, as his revised proposal called for. Evans will try to make these changes as part of the Council's consideration of the Fiscal Year 2005 budget.

Who should I call if I have a question or problems with my property tax assessment or tax bill?

Please contact the Office of Tax and Revenue Customer Service Center at 727-4829.

For more information, contact Evans' Committee Clerk, Jeff Coudriet.