I have received a few emails from individuals expressing their concerns about the significant rise in property tax assessments. I, too, was shocked by the increase in the assessments. The consensus of the worries from the emails I have read is centered around overspending by our state government.
Those are legitimate concerns, as I was doing some pre-session fiscal research and discovered an interesting fact. Since the passing of the 2021 budget in March of 2020 - the pre-COVID budget - Maryland's spending has increased by a significant 31%, amounting to approximately $15 billion in new spending.
The State Senate unanimously passed Governor Moore's first budget, while in the House of Delegates, I was one of only a few votes that opposed spending more money than we had in revenue. Every dollar the government spends is a dollar they must tax or borrow, so we all must be vigilant against excess spending of our hard-earned tax dollars.
However, property taxes in Maryland are mostly spent at the local level; in St. Mary's County, 89.4% of your collected property tax is spent by our local county government. The good news is the St. Mary's Board of County Commissioners can elect to hold constant yield, which would stop any property tax increase from going into effect. This decision is usually made in March/April during their budget sessions, so I would encourage you to reach out to them and ask them to hold the "constant yield" tax rate.
In the meantime, to safeguard yourself, if you feel your property tax assessment is high, I recommend protesting it. You can find detailed instructions on how to do so in this provided link: https://dat.maryland.gov/realproperty/Pages/Assessment-Appeal-Process.aspx
Appeals must be filed within 45 days of notice, so time is running out. I highly recommend choosing the phone appeal. It is easy, convenient, and probably the most efficient way of correcting an unfairly taxed property. Hopefully, this will result in a reduction in your assessment.
I hope this has been helpful, and again, please feel free to contact me anytime.