The George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis (CRA) announces the release of “Real Property Assessment Trends in the Washington Region, 2005-2014,” a working paper that traces patterns in residential, commercial, and multifamily property assessments over the past decade in the Washington area. This topic is of particular interest to city and county governments in the region, as many local governments are highly dependent on revenue from real property taxes. The national economic recession from 2008 to 2010 led to declines in the property assessments of every major jurisdiction in the region, and the assessments have yet to recover to pre-recession levels in many jurisdictions.
The paper finds that property assessments have increased since 2009 in the District of Columbia, Arlington and Alexandria, driven primarily by increased valuation from multifamily residential development. However many suburban areas have struggled to rebuild their commercial assessment bases in the past five years. This trend is placing additional burdens on residential property owners in these jurisdictions and making it more difficult for local governments to maintain their public facilities and services.