You can choose to pay your bills in semiannual or full year installments.
The County is required to bill taxpayers with owner-occupied property and small business in semiannual installments.
To qualify for semiannual payments you must be the owner on record as of July 1 of an 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 six months of a 12-month period.
First and Second Payment
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.
Understanding Your Bill
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 (SDAT) and does not qualify for the semiannual payment. Contact SDAT at 410-512-4905 if you feel this code is not correct.
Full Year Payment
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.
If a taxpayer receives an annual bill and the semiannual coupon is not on the bill, then the property is coded as non-owner occupied as established by SDAT and does not qualify for the semiannual payment.
Mortgage Escrow Account Payments
By law, Baltimore County must send the property tax bill each year to the registered owner of the property on file and to the billing address on file with SDAT. If you pay your taxes through a mortgage escrow account, you should notify your mortgage company, any time you receive a bill, of the amount due and the due dates. This will help to ensure that your bill is paid in the time and manner you agreed to.
Only those property owners who make their first installment payment themselves will receive bills for their second installment payment in December. Accounts paid through mortgage escrow in July will not receive bills in December. If you pay off your mortgage between July and December, contact Taxpayer Services for information on receiving your second installment information. Remember that any escrow money returned to you by your mortgage company was held by them to be used for your second tax payment. It is the property owner’s responsibility to make the second semiannual payment on time regardless of whether or not a bill is received.