County Property Tax - The General County tax is levied on all property in the County and funds, in part, such basic services as police protection, elementary and secondary education, the community college, transportation, health and social services, and libraries. There are additional County taxes that are levied either Countywide or in specially defined areas of the County to fund defined projects and programs. The following taxes are Countywide (all taxpayers pay these taxes): the Transit Tax, which funds public transportation services including the Ride On bus system, the Fire District Tax, which funds fire and rescue services, and the Advance Land Acquisition Tax, which funds land acquisitions by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). Seven additional taxes are levied only in specially defined areas: the Metropolitan Tax funds M-NCPPC local park facilities and parks programs and the Regional Tax funds M-NCPPC planning and administrative programs; five additional taxes fund recreation facilities and programs, storm drainage improvements, parking lot districts, urban districts, and noise abatement districts. Whether a taxpayer pays one of these special area taxes depends on where the property is located. To determine which Special Area taxes apply, please refer to the Tax Rate Schedule, as described below.
State Property Tax - This tax is
levied by the State of Maryland for the payment of
principal and interest on State bonds.
Municipal District Property Tax - This
tax is levied by each municipal area within the County.
Although the services provided by tax revenues differ for
each municipality, they are used generally for street and
sidewalk maintenance, trash removal, tree care,
sanitation, and police protection.
Development Districts and Special Taxing Districts
- If you own real property in tax classes R061 (Kingsview Village Center), R064 (West Germantown), or R065 (White Flint), additional charges will appear on your real property tax bill. Through the creation of development districts and special taxing districts, the County finances certain infrastructure improvements by issuing bonds secured by taxes and assessments levied on property in the district. An ad valorem based special tax is levied on all real property located in the districts to generate revenues to pay the debt service on the special obligation bonds issued for each district. In the Kingsview Village Center and West Germantown Development Districts special assessments on undeveloped (not assessed at full value) residential property located in the districts will generate revenues to pay the debt service on the special obligation bonds issued for each district. Revenues collected from each development district and special taxing district are used exclusively for that district.
TAX RATES AND TAX CREDITS
How the Tax Rate is Determined - The
real property tax rate, which is set each year by the
County Council, is an ad valorem tax, meaning it is
applied to the assessed value of the property. The fully
phased-in assessed value equals the full cash value of the
property. The real property tax is levied annually on all
taxable land and improvements.
Tax Rate Schedule - A detailed tax rate schedule for all tax classes is available by clicking on “Tax Rates” under the link for “County Taxes” when visiting the County website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/finance
or by calling 311 (240-777-0311).
Charter Limit -
Section 305 of the County Charter requires that “Unless approved by an affirmative vote of nine, not seven, Council members, the Council shall not levy an ad valorem tax on real property to finance the budgets that will produce total revenue that exceeds the total revenue produced by the tax on real property in the preceding fiscal year plus a percentage of the previous year’s real property tax revenues that equals any increase in the Consumer Price Index as computed under this section. This limit does not apply to revenue from (1) newly constructed property, (2) newly rezoned property, (3) property that, because of a change in state law, is assessed differently than it was assessed in the previous tax year, (4) property that has undergone a change in use, and (5) any development district tax used to fund capital improvement projects.”
Tax bills for levy year 2012 reflect target revenues below the Montgomery County Charter. The target revenue for levy year 2012 is achieved through a 4.5 cent rate increase for all property owners and one-time property tax credit of $692 for each qualified principal (i.e., owner-occupied) residential property.
Assessment Information - All real property in the County is subject to taxation, except that which is specifically exempt. Each property is assessed every three years by the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT). For more details about your assessment and the appeal process, please visit the SDAT website at www.dat.state.md.us, or call 240-314-4510.
Tax Credit Information - The County offers many tax credits and exemptions against the real property tax for which you may be eligible. To learn more, visit our website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/finance/tax_credit_exempt.asp.
Homestead Property Tax Credit - To assist homeowners who are affected by large assessment increases, the State of Maryland, Montgomery County, and municipalities limit the annual taxable assessment increase to 10% for principal residential properties, except for the Town of Kensington which has a 5% limit. This limit, called the Homestead Tax Credit, is not applicable the first year following the purchase of a home, and therefore the taxable assessment may be substantially higher than it was for the previous owner. Property owners are required to file an application with SDAT which administers this credit. Deadline for filing is December 31, 2012 (see enclosed flyer). If you are eligible but did not receive the credit or wish to learn more about the program, visit the SDAT website at www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/homestead.html or call 866-650-8783 (toll free).
Property Tax Disclosure - Montgomery County requires that residential property owners who sell their home must estimate and disclose to the prospective buyer the property tax for the subsequent levy year. Since the buyer will not be eligible for the homestead tax credit in the first year following purchase of the new home, the difference between the current year’s tax and next year’s tax can be significant. This disclosure requirement assists the consumer when purchasing a home in the County. In order to obtain more information and review the online calculator, visit the County Office of Consumer Protection website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/apps/OCP/Tax or call 240-777-3636.
Homeowners Property Tax Credit - Maryland’s Homeowners Property Tax Credit and Montgomery County supplement are administered by SDAT. These tax credits are granted to eligible homeowners of all ages, with the exception that taxpayers age 70 and older may file three years, retroactively. Applications for this program must be filed by September 1st. The program provides tax credits for homeowners who qualify on the basis of their household income as compared to their tax bill. State and County programs use (1) a maximum property assessment amount of $300,000 to compute the credit, and (2) require net worth to not exceed $200,000 excluding the value of the primary residence and qualified retirement assets. For more information or to obtain an application form, visit the SDAT website at www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/htc.html or call 800-944-7403.
Senior Property Tax Credit - The County offers a property tax credit for senior residents, based on 25% of the combined State and County Homeowners Tax Credit. This credit is available to residential property owners when one of the owners is at least 70 years of age. If you applied for the Homeowners Tax Credit, SDAT has the age information to determine eligibility and there is no need to apply for this credit separately. However, you must apply for the Homeowners Property Tax Credit to be considered. For specific questions about this program, call SDAT at 800-944-7403.
Fire Sprinkler System Tax Credit - The
County offers a one-time real property tax credit of up to
50% of the General County real property tax to partially
offset the cost of installing an approved complete
automatic sprinkler system used for fire protection in any
detached single-family dwelling unit, any attached
dwelling unit, or multi-family building in which a fire
sprinkler system was not legally required to be installed.
For more information or to obtain an application form,
visit our website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/finance
and click on “County Taxes” then “Individual Tax Credits”
or call 311 (240-777-0311 if outside the calling area).
TAX PAYMENT INFORMATION
When Taxes are Due - Payments for
annual bills and the first installment of semi-annual
bills must be received (postmark is not sufficient) on or
before September 30th, and become delinquent on October
1st. The second semi-annual installment payment must be
received on or before December 31st, and becomes
delinquent January 1st. Delinquent taxes are subject to
interest and penalties at the rate of 1 2/3 % per month
until paid in full and are calculated on the net amount of
the bill, after any credits are applied. Delinquent taxes,
including unpaid penalty and interest charges, are a lien
on the property and are sold in accordance with State law
during the subsequent calendar year. A tax lien sale will
also occur if the taxpayer owes an amount equal to the
interest and penalty, even if the amount of the tax bill
has been paid. Accounts eligible for tax lien sale are
listed for four consecutive weeks in a Montgomery County
newspaper and are subject to a $50 tax sale fee. Property
tax accounts taken to “tax sale” are subject to redemption
interest and may be subject to additional costs incurred
by the certificate holder.
Taxes on principal residential properties are paid on a
semi-annual schedule unless a taxpayer chooses to make
both payments on or before September 30th. Taxpayers who
escrow their payments may elect to pay annually, but must
notify their lenders by May 1st of their intent to pay
annually. Taxpayers will receive a tax bill that will
permit those who do not escrow their taxes to pay on
either a semi-annual or annual basis. Semi-annual bills
include two payment coupons, while annual bills include
only one coupon. Payments for partial year levies
(three-quarter, half year, or one-quarter) for newly
constructed properties are due 30 days after the bill is
Real property that are not residential owner-occupied
or a small business, as designated by SDAT, must pay on an
annual schedule. For more information on the semi-annual
program, please visit our website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/finance
and click on “Reviews & Bulletins” under the link for
How to Pay Taxes - Taxpayers have four options for paying their property tax bill:
1. Pay by electronic check, debit card, or credit card on the County’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/apps/tax/index.asp
2. Pay by telephone using a debit card or credit card (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover) by calling: 1-888-255-0029.
3. Pay by mail with a check or money order payable to Montgomery County, Maryland and mailed to Montgomery County, Maryland, Box 9418, Gaithersburg, MD 20898-9418.
4. Pay in person at the Division of Treasury, 255 Rockville Pike (Monroe Street entrance), Suite L-15, Rockville, MD. Payment in person may be made by cash, check, money order, or Discover card only.
Convenience Fee - Payments by credit or debit card are assessed a convenience fee of approximately 2.5% of the payment amount. This fee is levied by the payment processing company and cannot be waived by the County. Payments made by electronic check through our website are free of charge. Payments made in person using the Discover card are subject to the following fee schedule:
|Payment Amount||Discover Card Fee|
|$0.00 to $505.00||$5.00|
|$505.00 to $1,012.00||$12.00|
|$1,012.00 to $2,024.00||$24.00|
|$2,024.00 to $3,048.00||$38.00|
|$3,048.01 or more||$48.00|
On-line Banking - Customers using on-line banking services are advised to schedule the payment several days in advance of the due date to ensure timely delivery and avoid late fees (as most such payments are delivered by U.S. mail – not electronically). An alternative is the “Electronic Check” feature on the County’s website which provides true electronic delivery of payment, free of charge, and an assured delivery date.
Mortgage Information - All taxpayers
receive the original tax bill and are responsible for
ensuring that their taxes are paid on time. The County tax
bill displays in the Mortgage Information Box the name of
your mortgage lender if it participates in the County’s
electronic data retrieval and tax payment (mass-pay)
program at the time the bill is prepared. Taxpayers are
encouraged to review the lender information on their tax
bills. The County makes available to all mass-pay
participating lenders individual billing information for
their retrieval and use in making escrowed payments.
Property owners may wish to contact their lender to ensure
that their bills have been paid. If their lender does not
have the correct billing information, the property owner
should forward a copy of the tax bill to the lender.
Disputes between taxpayers and their lenders arising from
non-payment or late payment of taxes must be resolved
between the taxpayer and lender.
Even though taxpayers may have established an escrow
account with their mortgage lender, lenders do not pay
partial year levies for newly constructed properties.
Therefore, taxpayers must ensure that payment is made. We
encourage you to verify that your taxes have been received
by the County and whether you owe interest and penalty:
you can check your account at the County’s website, you
can call Finance, or visit our office.
Change of Address - In Maryland, SDAT is the official custodian of all addresses relative to State and County taxes. If you wish to change your mailing address you must notify SDAT by visiting the SDAT website at www.dat.state.md.us or
by calling 240-314-4510. Please note that failure to
change the mailing address does not relieve the taxpayer
of the obligation to pay the property tax bill.
Principal Residence or Rental Property
- SDAT determines if a residential property qualifies as a principal residence, making the owner eligible for: homestead tax credit, semi- annual property tax payment schedule, homeowner’s tax credit (if applicable), and a one-time property tax credit (if applicable). For that reason, SDAT reviews accounts and obtains information from several external sources. One source is a County rental license that each property owner must obtain prior to offering residential property for rent. For information on how to obtain a rental license and for additional details on this program, visit the County Department of Housing and Community Affairs website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/dhca and click “Licensing” or call 311 (240-777-0311).
OTHER CHARGES AND FEES
Solid Waste Charge - All ratepayers are billed directly for County supported solid waste and recycling services, facilities and programs. The solid waste charge is made up of components which vary based on the services provided by the County. For non-residential property owners, the charge is based on the gross floor area and/or generator category on file, and for multifamily dwelling owners it is based on the number of units on file. For information on solid waste charges, visit the County Division of Solid Waste Services website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/solidwaste or call 311 (240-777-0311).
Water Quality Protection Charge - This charge provides funds for a comprehensive inspection and maintenance program for stormwater facilities in the County. This program helps to protect streams, water supplies, and property by keeping stormwater facilities functioning properly so that they remain capable of removing pollution, recharging groundwater, protecting streambanks, and keeping roads and property from flooding. For more information on this program, visit the County Department of Environmental Protection website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/wqpc or call 311 (240-777-0311).
Bay Restoration Fund Fee - The State of Maryland levies a fee on all properties in support of a dedicated Bay Restoration Fund (BRF) used to improve the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay. Since most County taxpayers receive water and/or sewer service from their utility company, the majority of property owners pay this charge on their utility bill. Those who have a septic system and do not receive water service from a public utility are levied the fee on their County property tax bill. The annual amount was doubled to $60.00 for levy year 2012. For more information, visit the State of Maryland Department of the Environment website at www.mde.maryland.gov/brf or call 410-537-4195. Effective July 1, 2012 Montgomery County has offered a Bay Restoration Fund (BRF) Fee Financial Hardship Exemption Program for properties who are not being served by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC). To see if you meet the criteria, please click www.montgomerycountymd.gov/BRFHardshipForm for the application form.
For Information Call 311 (240-777-0311) or
Visit our Website at:
(Hearing Impaired Only)