‘Tis the Season for… Property Tax Assessments!

OC Today reported last week that Worcester County’s assessable base has grown from $14.8 billion to $15.2 billion, and is expected to grow to $15.4 billion by the beginning of fiscal 2019 –  meaning about 2 percent more tax revenue to the county.

Wait a minute. Isn’t it a bit early to receive these numbers? Last year, the State Department of Assessments & Taxation (SDAT) released information a few weeks later.

It is early. The article is based on preliminary numbers released annually around this time on SDAT’s website. But those numbers are subject to change. SDAT plans to issue its annual press release in a few weeks, after it has done a bit more due diligence.

Still, the County expects to see slow and steady growth. This year, Worcester’s assessment is limited to Ocean City. From the article:

[County Treasurer Phil] Thompson said the measured growth reached between 1.4-1.5 percent during the last year, and that’s what county residents should expect for the foreseeable future. During the peak boom years between 2004-2006, cumulative county property values exceeded $20 billion.

“We’re trending the way we were 10 years prior to the boom time of 2003-2006,” he said. …

Traditionally, [Ocean City] has been the major driver of property value assessments in the county. However, with the growth and development in West Ocean City, Thompson said the playing field might be leveling off.

“With Tanger Outlets coming to town and the recent hotel development there, we’re seeing steady growth,” he said.

Taxes are responsible for two-thirds of the county’s revenue, Thompson said.