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Many residential property value assessments in Calvert County reflect a decrease in value over the last three years, but the decline in value may be slowing.

Assessment notices mailed out across the state Dec. 28 reflect a decrease in 77 percent of the residential property values in this round of assessments, according to the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation.

Of Calvert County’s 12,269 properties — residential and commercial — included in the 2013 assessment, which spans from about Route 2 south to Broomes Island, 10,961 properties, or 89.34 percent, decreased in value by 11.4 percent.

The assessment for the same county properties in 2010 yielded a 15.1 percent decrease. In addition, the group of properties in Calvert that were assessed for 2012 — the southern part of the county — saw a 16.1 percent decline in value since 2009.

“You could come to some conclusion that that is starting to abate,” said Susan Kopanke Shubert, the supervisor of assessments for Calvert County with SDAT, of the slowing decline. “You could see it as a sign that the market is starting to come back, or at least the decline is slowing down.”

Residential property values alone in Calvert decreased 13 percent since the 2010 assessment. Across the state, residential property values decreased 6.9 percent.

Of the 9,086 residential improved properties in Calvert County, 8,808 properties, or 96.94 percent, decreased in value.

At the state level, of 585,317 residential improved properties, 449,217 properties, or 76.75 percent, decreased in value.

“There are good signs in all of this,” said Paula Martino, the government affairs director for Southern Maryland Association of Realtors.

She said that the values are declining at a slower rate that “suggests that we are at the bottom.”

Martino also said that market values are increasing, though “not by leaps and bounds.”

Commercial property values saw an increase this assessment, which Martino said is a sign that people are getting back into business.

In the county, commercial property values increased 2.2 percent since the 2010 assessment, and commercial property values across the state increased 11.4 percent.

The 2013 assessment includes 678,763 total properties across the state.

An assessment, or estimate of value, is based on an appraisal of the fair market value of the property, according to the SDAT’s homeowner’s guide to property taxes and assesments.

The new assessments are based on 41,189 sales that have occurred in the reassessment area over the last three years, an SDAT release said.

In Maryland where there are more than 2 million property accounts, properties are required by law to be reassessed every three years and owners are notified of any changes.

According to the release, the properties are assessed at their current market value so that all property owners “pay only their fair share of local property taxes.”

Calvert County government has a yearly 10 percent assessment cap on taxable assessment increases which applies only to owner-occupied properties. The 10 percent cap is the highest assessment cap permitted by Maryland’s Homestead Credit.

Shubert said Calvert County government has “never set a cap lower than the state maximum.”

aharrison@somdnews.com