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Assessment office sends tax notices

December 28, 2000

Assessment office sends tax notices



By SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer


At its new location at Public Square, the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation's Hagerstown office has printed out assessment notices for about 18,000 property owners.

The notices, reflecting increased property values, should arrive at affected property owners' addresses in the next few days.

The office opened at its new quarters in the former Peoples building at 3 Public Square on Dec. 1, said Office Supervisor Tim O'Rourke.

The move was made at the request of the Washington County government. The department had previously rented office space in the Washington County Court annex building.

A total of about 18,000 notices are for the eastern side of the county, from Cascade to Smithsburg to Robinwood to Boonsboro, he said.

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While O'Rourke's office reassesses all property annually, it sends notices to only one-third of property owners each year, he said. That notice tells property owners how much of an assessment increase to expect.

The increase is phased in over a three-year period, O'Rourke said.

For those receiving notices this month, the average increase is 6.7 percent, according to O'Rourke. The increase will be phased in at about a 2.2 percent increase in each of the next three years.

He said the average home value is about $110,000. If the value goes up by 6.7 percent over the three years, that would take it to about $117,000.

Property taxes are calculated in part based on the assessed value.

A 6.7 percent increase isn't particularly high or low compared to past years in the county, O'Rourke said.

Statewide, the average increase is 10.1 percent. Kent County had an increase of 17.4 percent, the highest in the state, while Prince George's County 4.8 percent hike was the lowest.

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