From Roy Whiteley, Founder, Marylanders For Fair Property Taxation:
HEARING NOTICE HB 888 TASK FORCE TO STUDY PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT AND APPEALS PROCESS.
WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE
MARCH 7, 2013
Our most important bill is being introduced by Delegate Glen Glass of the Harford County delegation. The bill requires a task force to conduct studies of the archaic, biased, inequitable, non-uniform, outdated, subjective, and unfair property tax assessment procedures and assessment appeals system to make evaluations and recommendations to improve the operation and conduct of the property tax assessment and appeals system. The task force will be staffed with select citizens having professional backgrounds and expertise conducive to performing a professional review of the current assessment system, evaluate its effectiveness, study alternative methods of creating assessments which would result in fair, uniform, and equitable assessments commensurate with current market values, recommend and adopt positive reforms to the property tax assessment procedure and appeals process that will be beneficial to both the State and its taxpayers. See www.mgaleg.maryland.gov Fill in bill number HB 888 for full details.
Recently House Speaker Michael Busch, who with Senate President Michael Miller and each committee chair, run the largest dictatorships within the General Assembly, implored his fellow members to exercise “true democracy” in dealing with his proposed gun control legislation. We have expressed the same request for the past ten years as we have tried to get this Property Tax Assessment and Appeals Reform bill out of committee and on to the floor where it can be acted upon by ALL those legislators we elect. to do our bidding? But as we all know this is not the way Annapolis works.. Democracy does not exist.
Unfortunately, many of those that we elect fail to see, hear, or listen to us. They are completely out of touch with the real world. We have to make them understand the facts of life. We need you to do it now by airing your experiences and ill treatment that documents the need to study and revamp the assessment and appeals system!!!! We need you to fill the hearing room to make your presence and positions known or fill their mailboxes with those facts. NUMBERS COUNT!!!! We need numbers in the seats and good testimony to show your concern, interest, and support. For those who wish to testify — you must sign up in person at the hearing room at least one hour before the hearing OR you can send a hard copy or email of your testimony to Delegate Glen Glass (firstname.lastname@example.org) Room 325 House Office Building, 6 Bladen Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401 Phone (800) 492 7122 X3280. He will have the necessary 35 copies reproduced for distribution to the committee and can also register for you to testify if you let him know.
Below are listed some of the ills of the system we have all encountered. Isn’t there enough evidence here to warrant concern and a study of this obviously broken system?
– Present construction cost based assessment system in place basically since 1977 inception.
– Assessment system updated without public input or methodology change.
– Assessor staff down from 280 to 158 with no sign of employment offerings to fill vacancies.
– Assessor staff unable to make physical inspections, or update market value data base and indices.
– Assessor staff competency questionable with no mandatory continuing education required.
– Assessor staff education and skills less than Licensed Real Estate Appraisers taxpayers often forced to hire to challenge inaccurate and unfair assessments.
– Large percentage of assessments incorrect due to lack of up-to-date record keeping.
– Millions of potential assessable tax base dollars lost and unaccounted for.
– Triennial assessments assure at least 2/3 of 2 million taxpayers’ assessments at least 2 years out of date.
– Property assessment worksheets unavailable to taxpayers on line BUT SDAT website promotes private firm, SpecPrint, who purchased said worksheet records and profits by resale negating privacy concerns touted by SDAT Director.
– Assessment system based on construction cost BUT can only be taxpayer challenged based on fair market value sales.
– Assessor hearings waste of time, primarily fishing expedition with little accomplished.
– Property Tax Assessment Appeals Board (PTAAB) and assessment offices housed and staffed together eliminating any separation of function or separation from possible collusion.
– PTAAB staffed with politically connected citizens with questionable property value knowledge.
– PTAAB staff qualifications unknown to taxpayers.
– Tax Court inconvenient, time consuming, unfair to taxpayer who must prove State wrong rather than each side proving their case.
Contact the members of the Ways and Means Committee —- e-mail addresses (chair listed first) are all in this format followed by @house.state.md.us
Fill their mail boxes and let them know we want this bill passed from committee to the floor where it can be acted upon by ALL the legislators we elect— NOT JUST A SELECT FEW COMMITTEE MEMBERS!!!! ALSO, contact your respective delegates and tell them to sign on to cosponsor and support this legislation.
Remember, Nothing Happens Unless We Make It Happen!!!!!
Roy Whiteley, Founder