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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are Metropolitan District Charges?

A. They are special assessments levied on properties deriving benefit from water and sewer utilities. There are four charges: Sewer benefit, Water benefit, Sewer Service, and Water Distribution. Baltimore County Code 2003, Section 20-3-201 is our authority to levy these charges. Sewer and Water Benefit charges are levied to recover construction costs. Sewer Service charges are levied to recover the cost of transporting and treating of wastewater and disposing of the by-products. Water Distribution Charges are levied to furnish funds for debt service of Metropolitan District bonds issued for the financing of capital expenditures for major facilities.

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Q. How are they computed?

A. Water and Sewer Benefit Charges are computed using an assessable footage assigned to a property and a rate per foot assigned to the utility for which the property is assessed. Sewer Service Charges are computed on actual water consumption or may be based on plumbing fixtures. Water Distribution Charges are based on the size and number of water meters serving a property. For specific rates per foot, assessable frontage and interest rates, contact our office at 410-887-2423.

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Q. How are they collected? How long are they paid?

A. Metropolitan District Charges are billed annually on the property tax bill. Water and Sewer Benefit Charges are paid for 40 years. Sewer Service and Water Distribution Charges are paid each year as long as the property is connected to the utilities. 

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Q. How do I get more information about Water or Sewer Benefit Charges?

A. To find out more about Water and Sewer Benefit Charges, such as how much is principal or interest, if and when they can be paid off, what happens if a property is sold or transferred, etc. you can contact this office at 410-887-2423.

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Q. Why do I have to pay these charges when a Developer is building the water and sewer mains?

A. Baltimore County Code 2003, Section 20-3-201 directs that all properties that abut a road, easement or right-of-way within which a water main and/or sewer main is built is subject to benefit assessment.

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Q. Where are the water and sewer mains located?

A. Contact this office at 410-887-2423 to provide information about the location of your property.

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Q. How do I get a water meter or sewer connection installed? How much will it cost?

A. Contact the Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspection at 410-887-3614.

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Q. I am a Disabled Veteran and pay no property taxes. Do I have to pay Metropolitan District Charges?

A. Disabled veterans and their surviving spouses are exempt from payment of all Metropolitan District Charges as well as certain construction loan charges, such as water and sewer deficit charges, water and sewer property connection charges and water and sewer system connection charges. However, no exemption shall be granted for the special water and sewer installation charges (also known as the private plumber's bill). Contact the State Department of Assessments and Taxation for information on how to apply.

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Q. I am a senior citizen on a fixed income. Do I have to pay Metropolitan District Charges?

A. Taxpayers who are 60 years of age as of July 1 and are eligible for a Homeowner's Tax Credit by reason of income may be eligible to have their metropolitan benefit and utility charges deferred. For additional information, contact the Office of Budget and Finance at 410-887-4100.

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Revised September 30, 2013

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