In Maryland, there are more than two million property accounts. The Department of Assessments and Taxation must appraise each of these properties once every three years. There are 24 local State assessment offices, one in each county and Baltimore City.
For each county and Baltimore City, the Director of Assessments and Taxation appoints a Supervisor of Assessments from a list of five qualified applicants submitted by the Mayor of Baltimore city, the County Commissioners, or under charter government, the County Council or the County Executive with the approval of the Council.
Assessments are certified by the Department to local governments where they are converted into property tax bills by applying the appropriate property tax rates. An assessment is based on an appraisal of the fair market value of the property. An appraisal is an estimate of value. There are three accepted approaches to market value: (1) the sales approach; (2) the cost approach; (3) the income approach. While differing in the method of calculation each approach is designed to indicate the property’s fair market value. The property tax is primarily a local government revenue. Counties and cities depend on the property tax and a portion of the income tax to make up their budgets.