Cecil County Proposes 4.8% Property Tax Increase

The County Commissioners have proposed a tax increase for Cecil County property owners for the upcoming fiscal year. The tax rate that is being considered (0.94-cents per $100) is 4.8% higher than the constant yield rate (the rate that would produce the same amount of taxes) of 0.897-cents per $100 of assessed property. The increase would generate $4,225,789 in additional property tax revenue for the county. Public hearings on the proposed real property tax increase and the budget will be held at 2:00 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday May 12, 2009 at the Cecil County Administration Building.

A few weeks earlier the Elkton municipal Administration proposed that the town levy an increase of 8.6%. For a better discussion of the constant yield rate and how that works click here to read our earlier post on the suggested Elkton increase.

Also click here to read the county press release on the subject.

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8 responses to “Cecil County Proposes 4.8% Property Tax Increase

  1. They are cutting our taxes. They are raising our taxes. soemthing is wrong here. The Cecil Whig said they were cutting taxes. Which is it. Something is not right here.

  2. If the county kept the property tax rate exactly the same, it would generate an additional $6+ million in revenues to the count, due to state assessments of values rising or new properties added to the tax rolls. But they are cutting the TAX RATE so that it only generates $4+million in new revenues to the county. So if your property value/state assessment has not gone up, the lower tax RATE would mean you tax bill would be less.

  3. George, it is a proposed tax increase of nearly five-percent for the upcoming fiscal year. I’m not sure why the Whig headlined it as a cut since even the county’s official press release says it an increase! Some of the numbers in the piece way off too, such as how much additional reveue it will yield for the county (see their official release for the exact numbers.)

    Last year they raised it about 10% (I’ll check for the exact rate). So that would be combined increase of nearly 15% over the past two years.

    A little complexity enters into the situation since Maryland regularly reassess property values, and an individuals tax burden goes up if the rate stays the same because the state has indicated your home has a higher value. They do this on a three year cycle so depending on where you fall on the cycle, you may not see an increase that given year, but it will catch up with you since these are cumulative rates. You may just get a break for a year or two as it catches up. There’s also a cap meaning that they may only raise it 8% each year, in order to not cause a sharp increase in any one year. If it goes over the cap, they have to spread it out

    While it might be a little confusing, it really is an equitable system.

  4. George, it is a proposed tax increase of nearly five-percent for the upcoming fiscal year. I’m not sure why the Whig headlined it as a cut since even the county’s official press release says it an increase! Some of the numbers in the piece way off too, such as how much additional reveue it will yield for the county (see their official release for the exact numbers.)

    Last year they raised it about 10% (I’ll check for the exact rate). So that would be combined increase of nearly 15% over the past two years.

    A little complexity enters into the situation since Maryland regularly reassess property values, and an individuals tax burden goes up if the rate stays the same because the state has indicated your home has a higher value. They do this on a three year cycle so depending on where you fall on the cycle, you may not see an increase that given year, but it will catch up with you since these are cumulative rates. You may just get a break for a year or two as it catches up. There’s also a cap meaning that they may only raise it 8% each year, in order to not cause a sharp increase in any one year. If it goes over the cap, they have to spread it out

    While it might be a little confusing, it really is an equitable system.

  5. George here’s a little more on the constant yield from the state web site. These assessments happen on a three year cycle

    Maryland requires each taxing jurisdiction to give advance notice and hold public meetings prior to the rate setting if they are considering a tax rate higher than the Constant Yield Tax Rate. The Constant Yield concept is that, as assessments rise, the tax rate should drop to the point that the revenue derived from the property tax stays at a constant level from one year to the next, thus assuring a “constant yield” from this tax source. The Constant Yield Tax Rate is simply a property tax rate that, when applied to new assessments, will result in the taxing authority receiving the same revenue in the coming taxable year that was produced in the prior taxable year. The Constant Yield Tax Rate is a State Law that exists solely for the benefit of the taxpayer. It represents a clear and direct opportunity for citizen input to influence the level of property taxation.

  6. During these economic times there should never be any tax increases only decreases. I am sure that the County has 10’s of millions in their general fund surplus (aka rainy day fund) that would cover a decrease or at least no increase for many years. The Town of Elkton needs to step up with their surplus and decrease our taxes.

  7. Rob:

    Thanks for posting your thoughts on the tax increase.

    Last year Elkton, to its credit, held the line on the increase. Though the town administration wanted to increase taxes, the commissioners said no we’ll keep the same rate. So, although they didn’t reduce taxes, they held the line unlike the county, which increased it by 10%.

    It’ll be interesting to see what they do this year since there are some costly projects that have been impacting them and those costly projects have been building throughout the past year.

  8. Are they afraid to just tell us the truth. It is a tax increase. We are sure going to know it when we have to write a bigger check to the county . You would think that newspaper could figure it out to. They are no help letting people know what the truth is.

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