A small property tax increase in Md.
In a year when property-tax collections rose in all but a few states, Maryland had the smallest of the increases, according to a new study.
The Tax Foundation analysis, which compares fiscal 2008 with 2007, says property tax paid per capita in Maryland inched up about half a percent -- less than $10. Per-capita tax collection dropped in Michigan, South Carolina, Texas and Vermont, but increased everywhere else -- with double-digit jumps in D.C., Florida, Indiana and New Mexico.
You'd hardly know the country was well into a severe housing slump at the time, judging by tax collection, the group says.
"Home values dropped by almost 16 percent from 2007 to 2008, yet property owners in most states paid more in 2008 than they had the year before," Kail Padgitt, one of the report's authors, said in a statement. "There are two explanations for this: First, administratively, it's relatively easy for localities to raise property tax rates to compensate for declining property values. Secondly, lagged or incorrect property assessments meant revenues continued to increase despite a drop in market value."
I'm scratching my head over Maryland's tiny reported increase, because the state's once-every-three-years assessment cycle kept assessed values from falling as quickly as the market did. And though the Homestead tax credit did cap increases for homeowners in 2008 as in all years, it still allows annual increases of at least 4 percent in most of the state.
Of course, the Tax Foundation's ranking is calculated per capita. The state gained 15,000 people between the beginning of the 2007 fiscal year and fiscal 2008.
The foundation, which relied on Census Bureau data, shows Maryland's per-capita tax collection at $1,171, which is 29th overall. First: D.C., at $2,938.D.C.'s rate of 85 cents per $100 in assessed value is lower than many parts of Maryland, but its home prices are higher.