Most Counties See Actual Decline in Property Tax Base

As property assessments are in decline in every part of the state, it comes as no surprise that the effective property tax base is now lower than it was last year for most Maryland counties. The simplest measure of this — which includes the fairly complicated effects of the various phase-in and credits that benefit Maryland taxpayers — is each county’s Constant Yield Tax Rate.

The constant yield tax rate is the tax rate a jurisdiction would need to impose to generate the same amount of property tax revenue in the upcoming fiscal year (FY12) as it did in the current year (FY11).  With property assessments declining across the state, 17 counties have found that their FY 12 constant yield tax rate is actually higher than their FY 11 tax rate — meaning that the tax base for that county has actually shrunk from the prior year’s level.  For a listing of the FY 12 constant yield tax rates click here.

The continuing decline in property values reinforces the widely-held belief that local government revenues will remain in major stress in coming years, even as the State government’s main revenue sources (income and sales taxes, both very much affected by immediate changes in the overall economy) seem to be reflecting overall modest growth trends.

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