Local tax assessments show continued gains

Area 1 was the subject of this year’s reassessments by state officials.

Maryland’s State Department of Assessment and Taxation has released the results of its latest assessments of residential and commercial properties, and the Salisbury area leads the state with a 30.9 percent increase in commercial property valuation.

Statewide, the average is 12.5 percent.

According to SDAT, overall high sales prices and lower vacancies led to the dramatic rise in commercial property values. Total property assessments rose 11 percent in the portion of Wicomico County that was assessed for Jan. 1, 2019, the fourth-highest increase in the state. The increase in Full Cash Value of properties in the Salisbury area rose more this year than any year since the housing bubble burst in 2008.

The latest assessments were reached by evaluating the last three years’ sales, and factoring for improvements to the properties being assessed and/or the surrounding properties. Property value increases will be phased in over the next three years, while losses in property value will be implemented in the coming tax year.

Salisbury Mayor Jake Day heralded the news.

“I’m not surprised at the results given the tremendous growth we’ve seen over the past few years,” Day said. “The purpose of our constant and tireless efforts to grow the economy in our city is to create value for the families, shop owners and workers of our community.”

He added: “These significant and dramatic increases in value represent concrete evidence that those efforts are working. The vast majority of the properties assessed this year are in our great city and I am delighted to see our hard-working citizens gaining ground faster than anyone else in the state.”

SDAT reassessed 696,947 residential and commercial properties statewide. The overall statewide increase for “Group 1″ properties was 9.1 percent; this is the first reassessment since 2008 where all 23 counties and Baltimore City posted an increase.

The properties in “Group 1” are reassessed by the Department every three years and account for one-third of the more than two million real property accounts in the state. This represents an average increase in value of 8.2% for all residential properties and 12.5% for all commercial properties since they were last assessed in 2016.

The 2019 assessments for Group 1 properties were based on an evaluation of 64,807 sales that occurred within the group over the last three years. If the reassessment resulted in a property value being adjusted, any increase in value will be phased-in equally over the next three years, while any decrease in value will be fully implemented in the 2019 tax year. For the 2019 reassessment, 87.5% of Group 1 residential properties saw an increase in property value.

“Thank you to all of SDAT’s real property assessors throughout Maryland for the hard work and dedication they have displayed this year to ensure that Maryland’s properties continue to be assessed fairly and uniformly,” said SDAT Director Michael Higgs. “As part of our ongoing tax credit awareness campaign, our Department is also dedicating an entire page in each reassessment notice to provide information about the Homeowners’ and Homestead Tax Credits, which save Marylanders more than $260 million in taxes each year.”

The Homeowners’ Tax Credit provides relief for eligible homeowners by setting a limit on the amount of property taxes that are owed based on their income. Residential property owners who complete a one-time application and meet certain eligibility requirements can also receive a Homestead Tax Credit, which limits their principal residence’s taxable assessment from increasing by more than a certain percentage each year regardless of their income level. Although statewide legislation caps the increase at no more than 10% per year, many local governments have established property tax caps at lower percentages. To see a breakdown of Homestead percentages at this time, you may reference table R-4, which is attached to this release.

Property tax assessment notices were mailed out to Group 1 property owners on Thursday, Dec. 27.

As your community newspaper, we are committed to making Salisbury a better place. You can help support our mission by making a voluntary contribution to the newspaper.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment