I thought I should write a bit about two important topics we discussed last night at the NCPCA meeting.

PG County’s CRT police officer Melanie Sarita reported that there have been two home invasions, one on the 52nd Avenue (November 28) and another on the Iroquois Street (December 5). Details of the incidents and locations are currently withheld due to impending investigations. Suspects are now incarcerated in DOC without bonds. It appeared that suspects targeted the locations due to easy targets – persons with disability living in those locations. There has been another similar incident happened in a Beltsville location. She also reported car break ins incident near Cherry Hill Rd / College Park Shopping complex and 52nd Avenue.

The State of Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT)’s Assessor Manager (PG County) Daniel R. Puma made a presentation on the Residential Property Tax assessments and appeals process. The SDAT‘s next assessment report will be ready by December 29, 2009. The residents will have 45 days to appeal against the assessments. This makes February 12, 2010 as the last day for the appeal. SDAT is estimating a 20%-45% reduction in property values since its last assessment three years ago.  If the residents are not notified about the assessment, they can appeal every year before the January 1 of the following year. The appeal forms can be downloaded from the department’s website http://www.dat.state.md.us/.  A deferred maintenance or damages may qualify a re-assessment of the property. The SDAT can provide property values of a list of comparable houses in the neighborhood. SDAT only goes back up to a year to assess the property values of the comparable houses.  Rental properties are looked at the same manner as the property resided by the owner. Income stream is not based for the evaluation. Anybody can appeal on behalf of anyone.  Community appeal is also an option, however is typically rare.  In case the appeal is accepted and the applicant may request for a hearing at a convenient location.