Taxes have a role in home decision

THE REAL ESTATE WONK

May 30, 2008|By JAMIE SMITH HOPKINS

Local property tax rates range considerably in Maryland, as anyone who's moved to and from Baltimore knows. You might not want to make homebuying decisions based on taxes alone, but it doesn't hurt to understand the differences beforehand.

Check out the accompanying chart to see some comparisons: what you'd be paying in county and state property taxes this fiscal year if you bought the median-priced home in various jurisdictions in 2007, and what you'd be paying for a $300,000 house. (This assumes that your taxable assessed value is the same as your purchase price, which isn't always the case.)

Baltimore City's property tax rate - $2.268 per $100 of taxable assessment - means a tax bill that's far and away the highest when you're comparing costs for a $300,000 house across the metropolitan area, or the state for that matter.

The bills are more comparable if you're comparing what you'd pay in taxes for the typical city home versus the typical suburban home. That's because the median home sale price in Baltimore last year was $153,000, much less expensive than the rest of the metro area.

These tax rates are for July 2007 through June 2008, which means they could change come July 1. Also, keep in mind that the county rates really are the county rates: If you move to a municipality that adds an additional property tax, such as Annapolis, you'll pay more. The state Department of Assessments and Taxation lists all the rates here: dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/taxrate.html.

Interested in seeing a rundown of property tax bills across the state? Go to baltimoresun.com/ realestatewonk, and click on How-to Mondays under the Categories section.

Find Jamie's blog at baltimoresun.com/realestatewonk.

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