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Home Prices Fall, But Taxes Going Up? Yup!

Wednesday, 2 Jan 2008 | 2:05 PM ET
AP

Despite the fact the home prices/values are falling pretty much nationwide, your tax assessment may in fact be going up. The Washington Post today reports that property values in Maryland have increased by an average of 33 percent over the past three years.

That's down from the 47 percent average increase three years ago, but given the dip in prices, you’d think assessments wouldn’t be rising even 33 percent.

According to OFHEO, home prices in Maryland dropped .45 percent in the third quarter of this year from the previous quarter, and are only up about 2.5 percejnt from a year ago. In Baltimore, prices are up 1.7 percent from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors, but according to the Post article, assessments in Baltimore surged 75 percent in the last three years.

I guess the issue is that assessments aren’t taken as frequently as home price data is gathered, so the lag time is going to skew the numbers: especially given the huge price appreciation during the first half of this decade. But ouch! That’s only adding to the angst among homeowners who are already dealing with the nagging feeling of a lack of home equity.

Recently the U.S. Conference of Mayors talked about the impact of the foreclosure crisis on local GDP's. As properties go into foreclosures, nobody’s paying the taxes. But I guess this report makes the argument that perhaps these new assessments might take a little bit of the bite out of those other losses.

Questions? Comments? RealtyCheck@cnbc.com

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  • Diana Olick serves as CNBC's real estate correspondent as well as the editor of the Realty Check section on CNBC.com.

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