It might be the ultimate example of good news/bad news.
If you own property in the third of Frederick County that was up for tax reassessment this year, you just saw the values jump by an average of almost 30%. Yahoo!
Now, brace yourself for the tax bill. That is heading skyward, as well. Darn!
So it goes when you are living in a growing, thriving community like Frederick.
One third of the properties in the county are reassessed every three years, on a rotating basis. This year it was the turn of Group 2, which includes Frederick city and northeastern parts of the county, and property values rose an average of 29.5%.
That is almost 9 percentage points higher than the average across Maryland, according to the state.
Residential property values in this section of Frederick County increased by 31.1% and commercial property increased by 21%.
This doesn’t happen every time. The last two reassessment of these properties in Group 2 occurred in 2020 and 2017, and in those two cycles, values increased by only 9.8% and 6.3%, respectively.
The impact of the recovery from the pandemic on home prices has been enormous, though the real estate market seems to be cooling, largely as a result of higher interest rates. So, the long-term outlook is unclear, and the next reassessment might tell a very different story.
“This is the most we’ve been up in quite some time since the [housing] crash in 2008,” David Etter, supervisor of assessments for the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation in Frederick County, told News-Post reporter Emmett Gartner. “We’re kind of surprised that everything continued to go up since last year into this year.”
Of the 35,648 residential properties assessed, 35,591 — 99.84% — increased in value. Around the state, 96.4% of residential properties increased in value, so Frederick County outpaced the state by that measure, as well.
The area’s combined average value increase for both types of properties, 29.5%, is the fourth highest in the state, behind only Garrett, Somerset and Worcester counties, all of which started with a much lower base of value.
When asked why values rose as sharply as they did this year, Etter told our reporter: “It’s just a matter of supply and demand. A lot of demand, not enough homes.”
Our county is continuing to add new homes every year, but more people are deciding they like the Frederick County lifestyle and want to make this place their home.
Just a week before the reassessments were announced, the County Council paved the way — quite literally, actually — for more housing growth near New Market.
The council voted unanimously in favor of transferring almost an acre of unused land at Oakdale Elementary School to the county government, which will transfer it to a developer to enable expansion of Lake Linganore Boulevard.
Lake Linganore Boulevard will eventually connect Linganore Town Center to Meadow Road and the ramp to Interstate 70. Expansion of the road will open up land for a 600-home development.
In September 2020, the County Council voted to require that Elm Street Development, a Virginia-based firm, build Lake Linganore Boulevard as part of approval for its Cromwell property, which is planned to be an age-restricted community of 600 homes along Old National Pike and Meadow Road. Elm Street Development is also building the town center.
Jason Wiley, vice president for Elm Street Development, previously said the expansion of Lake Linganore Boulevard will be complete in two to three years. He estimated that it will be another decade before the development is complete.
That is the way our county has been growing and changing for the past three decades, adding new homes in large numbers.
But the popularity of Frederick County continues to mean that even more new homes are needed to accommodate population growth. It is a good problem to have, as long as the county can manage the growth and keep pace with the infrastructure needs.