D.C. property assessments rise modestly for 2012
More good financial news for the District government: New property assessments show modest growth in the city's tax base, making up the ground lost by last year's declining assessments. That's bittersweet news for taxpayers, many of whom will see their bills rise, and it's especially bad for commercial property owners.
Property owners this week started receiving assessment notices from the Office of Tax and Revenue for the bills they will begin paying next March. Most of the 6.34 percent citywide increase is driven by business property, according to OTR figures -- the commercial base, which is taxed at a higher rate, has risen in value by 16 percent; meanwhile, residential values have risen by only 0.12 percent citywide.
The data comes one day after Chief Financial Office Natwar M. Gandhi, who oversees OTR, announced that city revenues have been revised upward by more than $100 million, driven largely by a recovering commercial real estate market.
In a analytical report delivered last month [PDF], the city's head appraiser, David W. Fitzgibbon, said the new figures "reflect some good news."
"While the bleeding has not stopped, it now appears that the patient will not be lost," Fitzgibbon wrote. "The commercial market, in particular the office market, shows a dramatic increase with values increasing by some accounts as much as 20 percent."
Most of the commercial property increases were seen in the city's central business district. On the residential side, the city's western neighborhoods on average increased more than in northern and eastern neighborhoods. The Garfield subdivision, in Ward 3, had the biggest increase in the city, of 7.3 percent, followed by the Central area, at 5.4 percent. The Ward 7 neighborhoods of Hillcrest (-8.9 percent), Deanwood (-9.2 percent) and "Lily Ponds" (-10.11 percent) saw the largest decreases.
Property owners have until April 1 to appeal their assessment
Here is a table of aggregate residential property values, sorted by percent change (a map of the data is above):
Here is a table of aggregate commercial property values by neighborhood, sorted by percentage change:
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