Md. property values growing at ‘steady pace’

WASHINGTON — Property values in Maryland are continuing a steady upward climb, according to a fresh assessment of residential and commercial properties released this week by state officials.

The Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation says during the last three years, property values increased by an average of 8.2 percent.

“We showed a 6.4 percent increase in residential properties across the state, and a 13.6 percent increase in assessments for commercial properties,” said Charles Cluster, the department’s state supervisor of real property assessments.

“In general terms, for homeowners, this does show that the real estate market is growing at a steady pace at the moment.”

The state examines real estate values by looking at a third of Maryland properties each year. One-third, according to the report released this week, reflects more than 750,000 residential and commercial properties statewide.

Prince George’s County saw the largest increase: residential property values there were up more than 14 percent. In Montgomery, Frederick and Anne Arundel counties, residential values rose 4.8 percent, 6.1 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively.

Property owners who have seen an increase in value, will see a gradual increase in taxes.

“If your property increased, over the next three years it will be phased in one-third each year for property tax purposes,” Cluster said.

Residential property owners who apply and meet certain qualifications can receive a Homestead Tax Credit, which limits their principal residence’s taxable assessment from increasing by more than a certain percentage each year.

State law caps the increase at 10 percent per year. But many local governments have established property tax caps at lower percentages. For example, the cap in Prince George’s County is set at just 1 percent.

For property owners who have seen a decrease in value, the decreased value will be their assessment for property tax purposes for the next three years.

Marylanders who think the state’s assessment does not reflect the market value of their property can file an appeal online. The deadline for those appeals is Feb. 13.

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