Most Counties See Decline In Tax Base, Even As Markets Rise

Assessment notices were recently mailed to homeowners for properties that were last assessed in 2010. An article in the Herald Mail highlights the variation in assessed values across the state. From the article:

Although property assessments have increased in some areas of Maryland, home values in Hagerstown and some nearby areas have decreased by an average of 5.6 percent since they were last assessed three years ago, according to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.

In contrast, property assessments that were sent out this week to 749,639 property owners — one-third of all Maryland property owners — show overall property values, both residential and commercial, have risen 4.7 percent statewide over the last three years, according to a news release from the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.

Statewide, the value of residential properties rose 1.3 percent and the value for commercial properties is up 16.3 percent, according to the release.

The news release provides assessment information for each county.  Although residential property values rose 1.3 percent, values declined in 19 of 24 jurisdictions.  10 of 24 jurisdictions saw a decline in commercial property values.

The release also provides an overview of the assessment process.

In Maryland, properties are reassessed, by law, once every three years. Properties are required to be assessed at their current market value so that all property owners pay only their fair share of local property taxes. The properties being reassessed were last valued for the July 1, 2011 tax year. The new assessments are based upon the examination of 51,309 sales which have occurred in the reassessment area over the past three years. Any increase in property values is “phased-in” equally over the next three years. Any decrease is fully implemented in the first tax year and remains at the reduced assessment for the full three year cycle