MACo: Timely Property Assessments Key to Certainty, Stability for Homeowners

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally yesterday testified in opposition of SB 174 Property Tax Assessments – 5-Year Assessment Cycle before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. This bill extends the current three-year property tax assessment cycle to a five-year cycle.

From the MACo Testimony:

Maryland’s assessment system provides stability and certainty for both taxpayers and local
governments. The triennial process and its three-year phase-in schedule deliberately offer
some cushion for taxpayers during periods of swift and considerable increases in property
values. Extending to a five-year cycle would codify inaccurate and inequitable assessments by
systematically exaggerating the lag in property values compared to current market conditions.

SB 174 would build into the system a notion that nearly every property would be in an
extended period of “catch up,” as the phase-in of actual assessments would take five full years.
As such, properties would be on the assessment rolls for years at substantially under-market
values, not due to error or oversight, but by way of State policy.

Building such inequalities and inefficiencies into the process is counter to sensible taxation
policy, and would jeopardize meaningful local revenues to support schools, public health,
public safety, and other essential services upon which all county residents depend.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2021 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.