Commercial and residential real estate worth continues to grow in northern county

(Jan. 4, 2019) Property values in several sections of Worcester County have increased, according to this year’s reassessment figures for the northern portion of the county.

Overall, the result throughout Maryland was positive, which has not been the case since the recession in 2008.

The State Department of Assessment and Taxation (SDAT) announced the results of a triennial assessment of residential and commercial real estate values across Maryland last Friday. Each year, about one third of the residential and commercial properties around the state are reassessed and assigned new values that are used to determine property tax amounts.

This year, the sections evaluated were part of Worcester’s Group 1, which consists of Bishopville, Ocean Pines, Berlin and sections of West Ocean City.

According to the SDAT statistics released last week, the value of residential properties reassessed in Worcester increased from $3.5 billion to $3.7 billion, for an increase of 6.2 percent. Perhaps more importantly from a property tax revenue standpoint, the value of Group 1’s commercial property, which is not protected by the Homestead Tax Credit, increased from $1.1 billion to $1.4 billion, representing an increase of 18.9 percent.

Of the 14,301 residential properties reassessed, 11,882 saw their values increase, representing an increase of 83 percent. Overall, residential and commercial combined, 69.13 percent of the 17,773 properties went up in value.

In terms of dollars, the total value of all reassessed properties in Worcester rose from $4.6 billion to $5.1 billion, or 9.4 percent, which is above the state average at 9.1 percent. The last time Group 1 was evaluated in 2016, Worcester had the exact same percentage. 

“There have been a lot of new properties in West Ocean City,” Amy Smith, supervisor of assessments for Worcester County, said. “We look at sales in the area for trends … the market indicates the values.”

Commercial values in Worcester County Group 1 increased by 18.9 percent, as a result of several new businesses such as hotels, restaurants and shops opening in West Ocean City and Berlin within the past three years.

“This is a great trend that shows a positive influence on the market,” Smith said.

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