Property values in Wicomico County increased 18.5 percent, surpassing the statewide average of 12 percent, according to data for the 2022 tax year released by the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.
Neighboring counties saw increases above the state average, too, with Worcester County at 16.5 percent and Somerset County at 12.8 percent.
“The Eastern Shore definitely has some promising growth,” said Christine Duma, supervisor of assessments for Wicomico County.
Residential properties in the county increase by 22.6 percent, while commercial property values rose 5.9 percent. Properties in the city of Salisbury increased in value by 25 percent.
The reassessment area known as Group 1 included Salisbury, Fruitland and the rural area to the south, including Allen and Eden. The state reassessed 14,392 properties in Group 1, of which 11,665 were residential.
It is the eighth year in a row that Wicomico County property values have increased since the end of the recession.
This year, Wicomico County showed the second largest increase in the state, and Worcester the third highest. Charles County had the biggest increase at 23.4 percent.
Salisbury Mayor Jake Day and Duma both attribute the increases to the current real estate market in which demand has far exceeded supply.
“I remain hopeful the market will stay hot,” Day said.
In October, the city launched a new initiative aimed at increasing the city’s housing stock and affordability by waiving fees for developers. Since then, the city has received applications for 1,100 new units, he said.
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 1 properties was 8.1 percent over the past three years according to SDAT.
The overall statewide increase was higher than 2020’s 8.1 percent increase. This represents an average increase in value of 12.7 percent for all residential properties and 9.7 percent for all commercial properties over the three-year period since the last Group 1 reassessment in 2019.
“All 23 counties and Baltimore City experienced an increase in residential property values for the fourth consecutive year, while commercial property values increased in 22 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 Homeowner’s 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.
Information on both tax credits can be found at the Department of Assessments and Taxation’s website dat.maryland.gov.
Although statewide legislation caps the increase at no more than 10 percent per year, many local governments have capped property taxes at lower percentages.
The 2022 assessments for Group 1 properties were based on an evaluation of 74,673 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 for the July 1, 2022 tax bill. For the 2022 reassessment, 93.9 percent of Group 1 residential properties saw an increase in property value.
Property tax assessment notices were mailed to Group 1 property owners on Tuesday, Dec. 28.