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County Homeowners: Are You Eligible for Property Tax Credits?

Montgomery County homeowners who have a limited income or are at least 70 years of age may be eligible for property tax credits that will limit the amount of taxes they must pay. One application will determine eligibility for three programs -- the Maryland Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit Program; the Montgomery County Supplemental Property Tax Credit; and the Montgomery County Senior Property Tax Credit.

Property owners who have applied for a tax credit previously and been denied are encouraged to apply again, since the tax credit programs have changed and been improved over the years, and your income situation may have changed.


Homeowners who are at least 70 years of age will automatically receive the Montgomery County Senior Property Tax Credit if they already receive either or both of the Maryland and Montgomery County Tax Credits.

Owners who file and qualify after May 1 -- but before the September 1, 2012 -- deadline will receive either a “revised” tax bill that reflects the credit amount or a refund if the taxes have already been paid in full.

See what criteria homeowners must meet to be eligible.

To apply for these tax credits, homeowners must fill out one application form each year. Application forms are available by calling the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) at 1-800-944-7403, or by downloading the form and instructions from the SDAT website at http://www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/htc.html .

CATEGORIES: Tax
POSTED: Thursday, May 31, 2012 | 7:00:00 AM |

Property Taxes: Some Basic Q&A's

The Department of Finance has prepared a few basic questions and answers to help clarify property tax issues for residents.

Q.My tax increased more than inflation. I thought the County Charter said that property taxes cannot increase more than inflation.

A. Montgomery County's Charter Limit on property taxes requires that total property tax revenues from all properties cannot increase more than the rate of inflation and the value of new construction. Although the average tax bill increases at the rate of inflation, some properties may increase less than inflation, while others increase more than inflation, depending on assessment cycles, assessment amount, when properties were purchased, homestead credit and other credits.

Q.Why was there a 4-cent increase per $100 of assessed value this year?

A.This year, there was an option to either reduce the County rebate (officially called the income tax offset credit) from last year's $692 or raise the tax rate to increase revenues to the Charter Limit. The County chose a combination of a smaller rate increase and keeping the credit at last year's amount since that would limit a significant tax increase for lower- and middle-valued properties.

Q. My assessment went down, but my tax bill increased more than 10%. Why?

A. If your property increased a lot in value several years ago, you would have benefitted from the homestead credit which caps growth in taxable assessment to 10% per year. During those years, you did not pay property taxes on the homestead credit amount. If the new "reduced" assessment this year is higher than last year's taxable assessment, the base still went up. For example, say last year's assessment was $600,000 and there was a $100,000 homestead credit. That meant the taxable assessment was $500,000 and it was used to compute the property tax. If your new assessment this year is $550,000 (down from $600,000), that is still above last year's taxable assessment allowing the base to grow the full 10% to $550,000 (i.e., $500,000 plus 10% = $550,000).

Q.Why is my assessment much higher than what houses sell for in my area?

A. The State of Maryland assesses each property every three years, with increases phased in over three years. A decline is reflected immediately in the first year of the triennial cycle. The State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) conducts the assessments and handles the appeals. The local SDAT office is in Rockville and they can be reached at 240-314-4510. If you believe the assessed value is too high, call for more information or file an appeal with SDAT to start the appeals process. Montgomery County has nothing to do with property tax assessments. That is solely the responsibility of the State of Maryland.

Q. I am a senior citizen and am struggling with paying my property taxes. Is there a program that might help?

A. Depending on your income compared to the amount of the tax bill, there may be tax relief available through three different programs: the State Homeowners Property Tax Credit (HOTC), County Supplemental Tax Credit and County Senior Credit (if 70 years or older). SDAT administers these credits and reviews applications for eligibility. The good thing is that you file only one application with SDAT, and they will automatically review eligibility for all three programs. They can be contacted at 800-944-7403 (toll-free). Also, although the filing deadline is generally September 1, SDAT just extended the filing deadline to October 31, 2011. If you are approved for one or all of these credits, it would adjust this year's tax bill.

Get more information on the tax credit programs.

CATEGORIES: Tax
POSTED: Friday, September 30, 2011 | 4:30:00 AM |

Eligible Homeowners Should Apply for Property Tax Credit by May 1 to Ensure Credit on July Tax Bill

Attention Home Owners: You may be eligible for a Property Tax Credit

Montgomery County homeowners who have a limited income or are at least 70 years of age may be eligible for property tax credits that will limit the amount of taxes they must pay. One application will determine eligibility for three programs -- the Maryland Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit Program; the Montgomery County Supplemental Property Tax Credit; and the Montgomery County Senior Property Tax Credit.

Property owners who have applied for a tax credit previously and been denied are encouraged to apply again, since the tax credit programs have changed and been improved over the years, and your income situation may have changed.

Homeowners who file and qualify before May 1 will receive the tax credit directly on their annual tax bill. Those who file later -- but before the September 1 deadline -- will receive either a “revised” tax bill that reflects the credit amount or a refund if the taxes have already been paid in full.

To apply for these tax credits, homeowners must fill out one application form each year. Application forms are available by calling the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) at 1-800-944-7403, or by downloading the form and instructions from the SDAT website at www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/htc.html.

See more about the tax credit in English or Spanish.

CATEGORIES: Tax
POSTED: Friday, April 29, 2011 | 7:00:00 AM |

Executive Introduces Carryout Bag Legislation; Environmental Programs Would Benefit

County Executive Ike Leggett has proposed new legislation that would place a five-cent charge on each paper or plastic carryout bag provided by retail establishments in the County to customers at the point of sale, pickup or delivery. Retailers would receive a one-cent rebate on each plastic bag to help cover administrative costs. The new law would take effect January 1, 2012.

Revenues from the tax -- estimated at about $1.5 million in the first year -- would be directed to the Water Quality Protection Fund (WQPF) that pays for things such as stormwater management, watershed restoration and litter clean-up. Plastic bags are one of the top four items found in County streams and stormwater controls. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) staff said that in 2009 the County spent approximately $3 million for litter prevention and clean-up programs.

To read the law and see other facts about plastic bag pollution, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/trashfree. Also, see news release.

CATEGORIES: County Executive , News , Tax
POSTED: Friday, March 18, 2011 | 9:00:00 AM |

Eligible Residents Urged to Apply for Property Tax Relief Prior to November 1 Deadline

Eligible Montgomery County residents are encouraged to apply for the Maryland Homeowner’s Property Tax Credit program, which limits the amount of property taxes a homeowner must pay based on income.

An additional County supplement and a senior tax credit will automatically apply to eligible County residents. For a senior tax credit, residents must be age 70 or older.

No additional application is required for either the County supplement or the senior tax credit.  The deadline for the state application submission is November 1, 2010.

In order to be eligible, a homeowner must have:

  • A combined household income of less than $64,000;
  • Lived in their home for at least six months, or will live in it for the next 12 months; and
  • A combined net worth (of everyone in the applicant’s household) of no more than $200,000. This does not include the value of the primary residence or the cash value of any qualified retirement savings or individual retirement accounts.

To apply for the property tax credit program, eligible homeowners must fill out an application form each year.

To get an application form, call the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) at 1-800-944-7403, or download the form and instructions from the SDAT web site at www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/htc.html.

CATEGORIES: Economy , News , Tax , State
POSTED: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 | 7:00:00 AM |

What Can You Do with a Dime These Days?

We all know that a dime doesn’t go as far these days as it used to. But, County Executive Ike Leggett has found a way to “put a dime to good use.”

Joining a broad coalition of Maryland residents in Annapolis to urge a 10-cent-per-drink increase in the tax Maryland imposes on alcohol, the Executive said the proposed legislation would provide needed revenue to address many of our state’s problems and challenges.  The increase will raise more than $200 million that will go into the General Fund.

Leggett said, “Passing this legislation is a matter of principle. And it’s good public policy.” The revenue generated by the increase will help to support some of the most critical local health services around the state. Read Leggett’s full remarks.

CATEGORIES: State , Tax
POSTED: Tuesday, March 09, 2010 | 3:30:00 PM |
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Last edited: 11/8/2010