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Maryland Tax Assessments Continue Upward Spiral

by Tom Branham, Washington D.C., January 2021

Despite the disastrous impact of the global pandemic on many businesses, Maryland commercial properties that were reassessed in 2021 were hit with substantial value increases.

 

It is the eighth consecutive year that values have risen during the reassessment process.

 

Group 3 Reassessment

 

Every county in Maryland reassesses 1/3 of its properties every 3 years. Combined commercial and residential assessments rose on 86.3% of the 759,422 properties included in this year’s group, according to the Maryland Department of Assessment Taxation.

 

Commercial properties saw a jump of 9.7% on average since the last Group 3 reassessment in 2018. (See chart below).

 

Value and Percent Change for Reassessment Group 3 Commercial Properties (Urban Counties)

January 1, 2018 Base Full Cash Value Compared to January 1, 2021 Reassessment Full Cash Value

Jurisdiction

Percent Change

Anne Arundel

arrow up

9.0%

Baltimore City

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1.1%

Baltimore

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4.4%

Howard

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11.1%

Montgomery

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14.4%

Prince George’s

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15.1%

 

Some Properties Hurt More Than Others

 

Non-residential properties have experienced different impacts from COVID-19 depending on their location, use, and class. Hardest hit are hotels, retail, Class B and C apartments, theatres, and other entertainment venues.

 

Other properties, such as grocery stores, medical offices, and banks, among others, were not directly impacted because they were determined to be essential businesses. Some industrial properties have prospered with the shift to online shopping for food, clothes, and other necessities.

 

It has been difficult to measure the fall in real estate prices for struggling industries because few properties are selling at this time. Owners are holding on and hoping for an upturn in the market.

 

In general, the pandemic has caused a strained real estate market statewide. As the potential capital loss stemming from the pandemic remains unclear, owners may face over-assessment and tax bills that are too high.