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Taxpayer's Brochure—July 2014

Bay Restoration Fund (State Fee)
Brownfields Property Tax Credit
Commercial Revitalization Tax Credit 
Constant Yield Tax Rate 
Electronic Check or Credit Card Payment
Hardship Installment Payment Program
Helpful Telephone Numbers
Historic Protection Tax Credit
Homeowners Tax Credit
Homeowners Tax Credit - Local Supplement
Homestead Property Tax Credit
Metropolitan Benefit and Construction Loan Charges Deferral
Metropolitan District Sewer Service Charge
Non-Delivery of Payments
Real Property Self Service Information
Semiannual Payments
Sewer Backups
Stormwater Remediation (State Mandated Fee)
Tax Sale of Properties

Web Access

Pay your Real and Personal Property tax bills online. You can also use this application to search for Real and Personal Property Tax information.

Bay Restoration Fund (State Fee)

Important Notice—State of Maryland Bay Restoration Fund

In 2004 the State of Maryland established a Bay Restoration Fund (BRF). The law, which went into effect January 1, 2005, charges a monthly fee on residential wastewater system users, commercial users, and onsite sewage disposal system owners. This annual fee has been separately identified on your property tax bill and the funds will be remitted to the State. The monies are used by the State to upgrade 66 sewage treatment plants in Maryland and reduce water pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. For additional information regarding the Bay Restoration Fund visit the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) website, or call MDE at 410-537-4195.

Brownfields Property Tax Credit

Baltimore County Code Section 11-2-108

There is a Brownfields property tax credit of 50 percent against the increased property tax liability of qualified Brownfields sites. A qualified Brownfields site is defined in the Annotated Code of Maryland, Tax-Property 9-229. The credits apply for a certain number of years after completion of a voluntary cleanup or corrective action plan and revaluation of the qualified Brownfields site. Contact Economic Development at 410-887-8000 for further information.

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Revitalization Property Tax Credits for Improvements in Commercially Zoned Areas

Baltimore County Code Section 11-2-202

A tax credit is available on eligible physical improvements to a mobile home park, senior housing development, or commercially zoned properties located in designated commercial revitalization districts. The tax credit is granted against increased real property taxes arising from the assessment of qualified improvements. Qualified improvements must have a full cash value of $50,000 or more as reflected in the assessment records of the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) for the year of completion. A tax credit granted under this section runs with the property and a change in ownership does not result in a lapse of the tax credit. Improvements on properties used for a railroad, public utility or covered by the Maryland Condominium Act are excluded. An application must be filed with the Director of Budget and Finance after the issuance of a notice of assessment by SDAT relating to the assessment of the eligible improvement for which a tax credit is sought. Contact Economic Development at 410-887-3990 for further information or an application.

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Constant Yield Tax Rate

In the taxable year, the County real property tax rate as of July 1, 2013 was $1.10, and the certified assessment of the net assessable real property was $72,269,701,602. The assessment multiplied by the rate produced property tax revenues of $794,966,718.
 
For this taxable year, the certified assessment of the net assessable real property is $72,771,304,603. To produce the same real property tax revenue as last year, the tax rate would have to be $1.0924. This rate is called the "Constant Yield Tax Rate."
 
For this taxable year, the actual property tax rate is $1.10, which is different from the "Constant Yield Tax Rate." The rate is more than the constant yield tax rate and will produce $5,517,633 more in real property tax revenues than would be produced by the constant yield tax rate.

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Electronic Check or Credit Card Payment

The enclosed real property tax bill can be paid by electronic check or by using your Master Card or Discover credit card. There is no convenience fee charged for payments made by electronic check. 

Master Card payments are limited to the telephone and online Self Service automated systems. Discover payments can be made in person, or by using the Self Service automated systems. A convenience fee is added to your total credit card payment when you use the Self Service automated systems. 

IVR Convenience Fee—Discover and MasterCard

Range

Fee

From

To

     

$.01
100.01
500.01
1,000.01
2,000.01
3,000.01
4,000.01

$100
500
1,000
2,000
3,000
4,000
and up

2.00
7.00
15.00
29.00
49.00
65.00
99.00

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Hardship Installment Payment Program

The Hardship Installment Payment Program is available to residential taxpayers who have experienced a temporary financial hardship and need additional time in order to meet their tax liability. Under this plan, eligibility is based upon hardship, repayment ability and financial disclosure. Once approved, your eligibility is only for the fiscal tax year in which you applied. All future taxes must be kept current to maintain your eligibility in this program. An application must be filed by February 28, 2015 to avoid sale of the property at the annual tax sale held in May or June 2015.

For additional information or an application please call the Office of Budget and Finance at 410-887-2798.

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Helpful Telephone Numbers

Billing Address Changes
410-512-4905

Baltimore County Information
410-887-0000

Deed Transfer and Recordation Tax
410-887-2416

Homeowners' Tax Credit
410-767-4433

Homestead Tax Credits
410-512-4905

Land Records
410-887-2651

Metro Water and Sewer Benefit
410-887-2423

Sidewalk, Curb and Gutter Petitions
410-887-3739

Sidewalk, Curb and Gutter Repairs
410-887-3560

Alley Petition and Reconstruction
410-887-3363

Road Takeovers
410-887-3739

Property Assessments
410-512-4900

Property Status Code
410-512-4905

Sewer Line Backups 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
410-887-7415

Sewer Line Backups 4 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.
410-887-5210

Sewer Service Charges
410-887-2423

Taxpayer Services
410-887-2403

Construction Loan
410-887-4100

Water Bill Questions
410-396-5398

Assessment Data is now available on the Internet.

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Property Tax Credit for Historic and Architectural Protection

Baltimore County Code Section 11-2-201

A tax credit is available on eligible rehabilitation work to historic residential or commercial properties under certain circumstances. Eligible rehabilitation work means the rehabilitation of a historic resource which returns the structure to a state of utility through repair or alteration that allows for the efficient use of the structure while preserving those portions and features of the structure and its site and environment that are historically, architecturally or culturally significant. The tax credit for eligible rehabilitation work to historic residential properties is 20 percent of the expenses for eligible rehabilitation work if the expenses exceed $1,000. Any unused tax credit may be carried forward to as many as 10 subsequent tax years. The tax credit for eligible rehabilitation work to historic commercial properties shall equal 100 percent of the amount of property tax imposed on the eligible assessment of a property granted a tax credit under this section. The tax credit continues for a total of 10 tax years. An application must be filed with the Department of Planning to request a Certificate of Eligibility, and a Certificate of Appropriateness. After receiving the Certificate of Appropriateness, the actual application for the tax credit may be obtained from the Department of Planning, or the Office of Planning website. The property tax credit authorized under this Act shall apply to eligible rehabilitation work to a historic resource that received a Certificate of Appropriateness in accordance with Article 32, Title 7, of the Baltimore County Code on or after January 30, 2013. Contact the Department of Planning 410-887-3495 for further information or an application.

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Homeowners' Tax Credit (Circuit Breaker)

Tax Property Article Section 9-104

A Homeowners Tax Credit Program is available to all taxpayers (regardless of age) who qualify on the basis of a comparison of their tax bill to their income. For further information or an application form, call the State Department of Assessments and Taxation at 410-767-4433. The deadline for filing an application is September 1, 2014.

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Homeowners' Tax Credit Program – Local Supplement

Baltimore County Code Section 11-2-111

A Homeowners Tax Credit Program - Local Supplement is available to Baltimore County residential property owners based on certain local eligibility and benefits standards. A homeowner can claim the credit on a principal residence based on the lesser of the assessed value of the dwelling (reduced by the amount of the assessment on which the Homestead Credit is granted) or $300,000. Having an assessment over $300,000 does not disqualify the applicant. To be eligible, the homeowner must have had a net worth less than $200,000 and a combined income of less than $60,000 during the preceding year. 

The tax credit is based upon the amount by which the state and county real property taxes exceeded a percentage of the homeowners combined income. Under the State's formula, the first $8,000 of income is excluded from the calculation. Baltimore County's tax credit will exclude the first $12,000 of income from the calculation.

A new application must be filed every year if you wish to be considered for this tax credit. The following table will help you determine if it is worthwhile to apply. If the actual property taxes on your home (based on no more than $300,000 of assessment) exceed the "Tax Limit" amount shown on the table for your 2013 gross household income, you may be eligible for a credit and are urged to file an application.

Actual taxes eligible for this credit do not include metropolitan charges which may appear on your tax bill and do not include taxes for excess land acreage or other buildings, or portions of buildings used for business purposes. The chart is a guide only, and the exact amount of your income and property tax will be used to determine your eligibility.

2013 Combined Gross Household Income Before Deduction

1 to 12,000

 $0 

13,000

65

14,000

130

15,000

195

16,000

260

17,000

350

18,000

440

19,000

530

20,000

620

21,000

710

22,000

800

23,000

890

24,000

980

25,000

1,070

26,000

1,160

27,000

1,250

28,000

1,340

29,000

1,430

30,000

1,520

and for a maximum of $60,000

*

*  For each additional $1,000 in income add $90 to $1,520 to find the amount that your tax must exceed. The gross household income cannot exceed $60,000 in order to be eligible for a tax credit.

Applications to the state Homeowner Tax Credit Program will also serve as applications for the Baltimore County Credit. For further information or an application form, call the state Department of Assessments and Taxation at 410-767-4433 or visit the website. You must file each year for this credit. The deadline for filing an application is September 1, 2014.

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Homestead Property Tax Credit

Tax Property Article Section 9-105

The Homestead Credit limits the increase in taxable assessments each year to a fixed percentage. Baltimore County limits the increase to four percent over the previous year taxable assessment while the state of Maryland limits their increase to 10 percent. This credit will reduce their county and state tax liability and will be reflected in their property tax bill. The tax credit will be applicable if the following conditions are met during the previous tax year:

  • The property was not transferred to new ownership.
  • There was no change in the zoning classification requested by the homeowner resulting in an increased value of the property.
  • A substantial change did not occur in the use of the property.
  • The previous assessment was not clearly erroneous.

A further condition is that the dwelling must be the owner's principal residence, the owner must have lived in the property for at least six months of the year, including July 1 of the year for which the credit is applicable, unless the owner was temporarily unable to do so by reason of illness or need of special care. An owner can receive a credit on only one property—the principal residence. The status of the property account is identified on the taxpayer's copy of the real property tax bill, either as a principal residence, or not a principal residence. To change your status, request a new application or, if you need additional information, please call the State Department of Assessments and Taxation at 410-512-4905.

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How to Use the Telephone Self Service System

The Self Service system gives you information on any property for which you have a valid property parcel number. The parcel number is printed in a box in the upper left corner of your real property bill.

  • To access the tax account information, or to make electronic payment over the Internet, go to www.baltimorecountymd.gov/go/taxsearch or dial 410-887-2403 from any touch-tone phone.
  • To Hear Automated General Information: Select Option 2 at Main Menu to enter the Frequently Asked Questions.
  • For Real Estate Property Tax Information: Select Option 1 at the Main Menu. You will need your parcel number to use this system. Select Option 1 again to access an individual tax account.
  • To Pay Real Property Taxes With Electronic Check or Credit Card: Select Option 1 at the Main Menu. After entering your account information, select Option 1 for payment options. Select Option 1 for credit card payment. Select Option 2 for electronic check payment.
  • For Automated Directory of Related Phone Numbers: Select Option 2 at the Main Menu to enter the Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Properties in Tax Sale Status: The Self Service System does not provide specific information for a property in Tax Sale. If a property parcel is in Tax Sale status, you will be instructed to hang up and dial 410-887-5616 for assistance or redemption information.
  • To Speak to a Customer Service Representative: Select Option 1 at the Main Menu. Select 0 to speak to a customer service representative. If you have a rotary phone, you can call 410-887-2404 for assistance.

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Metropolitan Benefit and Construction Loan Charges Deferral

Authority Baltimore County Code Section 20-3-212 

Taxpayers who are 60 years of age as of July 1 and are eligible for the Homeowners' Tax Credit by reason of income, as well as certain disabled taxpayers, may be eligible to have their metropolitan benefit and construction loan deferred. The age requirement does not apply to the alley reconstruction charge loan deferral.

An application must be filed with this office by September 1, 2014. For additional information or an application, call the Office of Budget and Finance at 410-887-4100.

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Metropolitan District Sewer Service Charge

The Sewer Service Charge shown on your tax bill under the heading "Charges" will, in most instances, be based on a volumetric rate of $39.48 per 1,000 cubic feet of water consumed on your property during calendar year 2013 or a standard fixture rate reflecting the number and type of plumbing fixtures on the property. For more information regarding Sewer Service Charges, call the Department of Public Works at 410-887-2423.

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Non-Delivery of Bills or Payments

Baltimore County Government is not responsible for non-delivery of your property tax bill or your payment; and by law, we may not adjust applicable interest penalties for late or non-payment assessed to you because we did not receive your tax bill, or we did not receive your payment. If you elect to pay your tax bill by cashier's check, money order, or any similar means for which you do not receive a cancellation notice, you may provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope so that we may notify you that your payment was received.

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Real Property Self Service Information

The Real Property Self Service System provides you with information on county property taxes and other charges using an automated telephone response system or by using this website.

Real property information is available 24 hours a day, except for daily scheduled downtimes for computer maintenance. Please do not wait until the last day of the month to make an electronic payment as system downtime may prevent completion of the transaction, resulting in interest penalties for late payment.

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Semiannual Payments

To qualify for semiannual payments you must be the owner of record as of July 1 of owner-occupied residential property. A property is considered to be an owner-occupied residential property if the owner uses the property as the principal residence by actually occupying the residence for more than 6 months of a 12-month period.

The first and second payments under a semiannual schedule are each comprised of 50 percent of state and County property taxes, 50 percent of Homestead and Homeowners' Tax Credits and 50 percent of Metropolitan Charges and other County charges.

The first payment of the semiannual real property tax is due on July 1 of the tax year and may be paid without penalty or interest through September 30 of the tax year.

Failure to make the first payment by September 30 under a semiannual payment schedule will result in the semiannual tax bill being processed as a delinquent account, subject to accrued interest, penalties and tax sale.

The second semiannual payment is due on December 1 of the tax year and must be paid no later than December 31 of the tax year to avoid penalty or interest charges. Any unpaid balances due past December 31 are considered delinquent and subject to accrued interest, penalties and tax sale. 

The top section of your tax bill contains a detailed breakdown of the charges and credits that were used to calculate your tax bill. The middle section contains the payment schedule for semiannual payments. The bottom section of the bill contains the payments schedule for paying a single annual payment.

The semiannual payment is made by returning the portion of the tax bill that is indicated as the Semiannual Payment Section with the appropriate payment amount shown on the tax bill. The County will issue a tax bill in December to notify you of the balance due for the second installment payment, unless your first semiannual payment was paid through an escrow account. In these instances, no December bill will be issued.

If you receive an annual bill and the semiannual section is not on the bill, then the property is coded as non-owner occupied as established by the state Department of Assessments and Taxation and does not qualify for the semiannual payment. Please contact the state Department of Assessments and Taxation at 410-512-4905 if you feel this code is not correct.

If you pay your own taxes and wish to remain an annual payer, return the portion of the tax bill that is indicated as the Full Year Payment Section with the appropriate payment amount shown on the tax bill. 

If a mortgage company pays taxes on your principal residence and you wish to remain an annual payer, you must notify the mortgage company at least 60 days prior to the start of the tax year that you wish your taxes to be paid on a full year basis.  

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Sewer Backups

The Bureau of Utilities cannot guarantee that County residents will be safe from sewer backups and in most cases the Bureau will not be responsible for property damage. The bureau does, however, recommend a few steps to lower risks. You should consider either installing a backwater valve or obtaining increased insurance coverage. A backup rider can be added to an existing homeowners' policy at a small charge. If you have a sewer line backup, call 410-887-7415 between 6:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 410-887-5210 between 4 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.

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Stormwater Remediation (State-Mandated Fee)

Effective July 1, 2012, the Maryland State Legislature through House Bill 987 requires Baltimore County to implement a Watershed Protection and Restoration Program. Your 2014 real property tax bill now includes a state-required Stormwater Remediation Fee that will be used to optimize conservation of natural features such as drainage patterns, soil and vegetation, to slow runoff, increase infiltration and allow for more innovative stormwater management technologies. This annual fee has been separately identified on your property tax bill.

Residential property will be charged an annual flat rate, and non-residential property will be charged based on the percentage of property subject to stormwater runoff.

The fee for residential property is a flat rate of $39 for detached homes, $21 for townhouses and $32 for condominiums. The fee for commercial property will vary based on a rate of $69 per 2,000 square feet of impervious surface. The fee for institutional and non-profit properties is based on a rate of $20 per 2,000 square feet of impervious surface.

Find additional information regarding the Stormwater Remediation Fee, including a database by parcel number for commercial property that shows the calculation factor for each property, or email stormwaterfee@baltimorecountymd.gov.

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Tax Sale of Property (Delinquent Taxes)

Real property tax bills are issued on July 1 each year. Failure to pay either in full, or if eligible, to make the first of two payments on the semiannual basis by September 30 will result in your account being considered delinquent. Interest will begin to accrue until such time as the taxes are paid in full. Delinquent notices are mailed November 1 and January 15 to all taxpayers whose accounts remain unpaid. Any unpaid balances due past December 31 are considered delinquent and subject to accrued interest, penalties and tax sale. On March 1, a Final Tax Sale Notice is mailed. This allows you 30 days to pay the property taxes, along with accrued interest and penalties. If you fail to respond to this final written notice, your property is subject to being sold at the annual tax sale. This year's tax sale will be held sometime in May or June (specific date to be determined).         

If your property is sold for taxes, you have six months from the date of the sale in which to redeem your property.

Baltimore County posts properties to be sold on its website around the first of May.

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Revised June 30, 2014

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