16 March 2006

Mendelson Holding Tax Assessment Workshops - But When and Where?

I just learned about these meetings on the 4D-Neighbors Listserv:
(Washington, DC) Councilmember Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) will hold a set of four tax assessment workshops throughout the District over the next two weeks. The workshops are designed to answer residents' questions about the tax assessment process, the tax appeal process, and eligibility for certain deductions. "This is a difficult subject for people. In most cases residents have seen a steep increase in their assessments. They need to understand the tax appeal process and find out how they can challenge an unfair assessment," stated Mendelson. Representatives from the Office of Tax and Revenue will accompany Mendelson at each of the meetings. This is the fourth consecutive year Mendelson has held such meetings throughout the city. "It's important to help protect their pocket book," says Mendelson. "As elected officials, we continue to hear about property taxes. It's really the only tax about which we hear complaints. This issue is important to District residents."

My issues:
* I can't find any listings for meetings other than the one that happens this evening (3/16) for Petworth, Columbia Heights, and LeDroit Park at the 3D Police Station, 1620 V Street, NW, 6:30pm. Does anyone else have the information?
* Does Mendelson explain the difference between the assessment and the capped assessment? My understanding is that most residents pay only on the capped amount; the current cap is at 10% (unless you've owned your home for less than a year, like me - you get to wait for a full turning of a fiscal year before the cap goes into effect - and you are, essentially, screwed). I believe the appeal will work only if you can prove your house is worth less than the capped amount, and that's typically unlikely.
* Does he discuss or better explain why he was against a 5% cap when a number of states are reducing their caps to 3% and lower?
* Finally, how can this be "really the only tax about which we hear complaints?" I'm certain both my driver's license and license plates clealy state "Taxation Without Representation."

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