As I listen to members of our community, one of the concerns I hear mentioned often is high property tax bills.
Counties and municipalities set their property tax rates each spring and homeowners receive their annual property tax bill in July. Property tax revenue pays for many essential local services.
However, one of the side effects of the real estate boom and bust is that Maryland homeowners have taken on a bigger share of the property tax burden than in past years. Even when tax rates are held constant, homeowners are being hit with large increases in their annual tax bill. Tax increases of 8% or more are common this year. In these difficult economic times, this can be especially hard on elderly residents on a fixed income or on families with moderate income.
|Homeowners Tax Credit|
To help provide relief, the state of Maryland and Montgomery County offer the Homeowners Tax Credit Program.
The state and county Homeowners Property Tax Credit are administered by the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT). These tax credits are granted to eligible homeowners of all ages, with the exception that taxpayers age 70 and older may file for three years of credits, retroactively. The application deadline for this program has been extended to November 2, 2009. The program provides tax credits for homeowners who qualify on the basis of their household income as compared to their tax bill. The maximum property assessment amount used for computing the tax is $300,000.
Montgomery County also offers a property tax credit for senior residents. The credit is based on 25% of the combined State and County Homeowners Tax Credits. The credit is available to residential property owners, when one of the property owners is at least 70 years of age. Since SDAT has the information to determine eligibility, there is no need to apply for this credit. If you have specific questions about this program, please call SDAT at 1-800-944-7403 or call Montgomery County at 240-777-8950.