Western Wicomico home values rise nearly 12 percent

Residential property values in western Wicomico County increased 11.7 percent, mostly because of low housing inventory, according to data for the 2021 tax year released by the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.

“It’s a seller’s market right now,” said Christine Duma, supervisor of assessments for Wicomico County.

Overall, there was a 10.1 percent increase among both commercial and residential properties in the county.

The reassessment area known as Group 3 included several large subdivisions west of Salisbury, as well as the towns of Delmar, Hebron, Sharptown and Mardela Springs, she said.

The state reassessed 15,658 properties in Group 3, of which 10,683 were residential.

It is the seventh year in a row that county property values have increased since the end of the recession.

This year, Wicomico County showed the third-largest increase in the state at 10.1 percent. Prince George’s County had the highest increase at 13.4 percent, followed by Frederick County at 11 percent.

The statewide average was 8.1 percent.

Nearby Worcester County had a 2.1 percent increase in the reassessed area in the town of Ocean City. Somerset County increased 5.4 percent in the northern part of the county. Dorchester County properties increased in value by 5 percent in the southern area of the county.

In Maryland, there are more than 2 million property accounts which are split into three groups, each appraised once every three years. The overall statewide increase for “Group 3” properties was 8.1 percent over the past three years according to SDAT.

The overall statewide increase was slightly lower than 2019’s 8.9 percent increase. This represents an average increase in value of 7.5 percent for all residential properties and 9.7 percent for all commercial properties since the last Group 3 reassessment in 2018.

The 2021 assessments for Group 3 properties were based on an evaluation of 67,767 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 2021 tax year.

For the 2021 reassessment, 86.3 percent of Group 3 residential properties saw an increase in property value.

“All 23 counties and Baltimore City experienced an increase in residential property values for the third consecutive year, while commercial property values increased in 21 counties and Baltimore City. This is a good indicator that the market remains strong and growth is steady here in Maryland,” said SDAT Director Michael Higgs. “The Department’s real property assessors continue to work hard work to ensure that all of Maryland’s properties are assessed uniformly and fairly. As part of our Tax Credit Awareness Campaign, each reassessment notice includes 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 capped property taxes at lower percentages.

Property tax assessment notices were mailed to Group 3 property owners on Tuesday, Dec. 29.

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