Alert! Property Tax breaks no longer automatic for Maryland homeowners.
Make sure you don’t miss out on what is yours.
Many Maryland homeowners are unaware of new legislation requiring them to apply for a previously automatic property tax cap credit. Officially called the Homestead Property Tax Credit, this tax cap shields homeowners from rapidly rising home assessment values by limiting property tax increases to 10% or less for State property taxes and 4% or less for Baltimore County and City taxes per year. Most homeowners currently save hundreds or even thousands a year under this tax cap.
Under this three phase program, one third of Maryland homeowners received a new home assessment along with a Homestead Property Tax Credit application . These homeowners have until February 11th to file an appeal if they believe their new property assessment is erroneous, and until April 1st to return their application for the Homestead Property Tax Credit. The remaining two-thirds of homeowners will receive their new assessment values and Tax Credit applications over the next two years. Homeowners who do not file for or do not qualify for the Tax Credit will be required to pay the full amount of their State and County property tax beginning December 31st, 2012.
The main qualification for receiving a tax cap credit are as follows:
- The property was not transferred to new ownership
- There was no change in the zoning classification requested by the homeowner resulting in an increase in the value of the property
- A substantial change did not occur in the use of the property
- The previous assessment was not clearly erroneous
- The owner must live in the property as his/her principal residence and must have lived there for at least six of the previous twelve months
So what does this mean for you? If you normally give your property tax bill a cursory glace before tossing it aside because your property taxes are escrowed, then pull it back out and take a closer look. If you see a new property assessment value and an accompanying Homestead Property Tax Credit Application, you must fill out the application and return it before April 1st. You can also visit https://sdathtc.resiusa.org/homestead/ and file electronically or download and print out a PDF version of the form to mail in. If you decide to appeal your new property assessment value, you can do so at http://sdatcert1.resiusa.org/SDATAPPEALS/.