Property Tax Disclosure

Currently, home sellers are required to inform buyers of what is currently being paid in property taxes. That amount is not very informative to the prospective buyer, however, because the tax usually jumps after a sale. (The 10% cap on property tax increases gets lifted when the property changes hands.) So buyers who find out what sellers are currently paying, aren’t getting good information about the tax amount they would be responsible for paying.

The county council opened up discussion yesterday on Bill 24-07, Real Property – Property Tax – Disclosure. The bill would require sellers of property to inform buyers of the property tax that would need to be paid in the year of the sale

It doesn’t seem logical to demand that the sellers provide this information, since they wouldn’t know. They would have to go to the county to get that estimate, just as the buyer would. Why make the sellers intermediaries? Nor does it seem practical. What happens if the seller’s estimate is incorrect? Would the seller bear some sort of legal liability?

If it’s not logical, and not practical for sellers to be responsible for this, then the county shouldn’t try to pass the responsibility to the current homeowners. Insteady, the county should provide some mechanism for prospective buyers to easily get this information.

Most of the time on Leviathan Montgomery I’m whining about things the county is doing that they shouldn’t be doing. Today, I’m whining about them not doing what they should be doing. Just can’t satisfy some people, I guess.

Explore posts in the same categories: Budget and Taxes, Housing, Montgomery County, Regulation


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2 Comments on “Property Tax Disclosure”

  1. Mr. X Says:

    My county tax bill has figures for my actual tax bill along with figures for what it would be if I was taxed at the actual assessed value (a much larger number). If that latter number is what I’d need to disclose, it seems like the county’s already provided that information to me (the seller).

    Am I missing something?

  2. Zinzindor Says:

    I’m not sure that would be the correct figure; I don’t think the calculation is that simple.

    Besides, there’s a question of liability here (if the seller’s estimate turns out to be incorrect, should the seller be held liable for the increased cost?). There’s also a question of responsibility: why should the seller be responsible for information about what the county government might collect from the buyer?

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