July 29, 2020

Smart FAQs About Maryland Property Taxes

Smart FAQs About Maryland Property Taxes

DISCLAIMER: The information gathered here is deemed reliable as of the date of publication, but each aforementioned agency has the right to change its information, rates, and processes. Check the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation website for the most updated information or consult your local tax expert with specific questions.

Maryland has more than 2.3 million property accounts registered, and tax on those properties is an important source of revenue for Maryland counties and municipalities. Because the process in Maryland is different than DC and Virginia, we have gathered the most frequently asked questions here for you!

How is my property tax calculated?

First, assessors from local assessment offices estimate the fair market value of the residential property. All Maryland assessments are certified by the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) then given back to the correct local offices. The property’s appraised value is multiplied by the applicable tax rate, which is the amount owed by the property owner. If the new assessment finds an increase in the property’s value, the additional taxable amount is phased in over the next three years.

When are Maryland property taxes due?

The Maryland fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30. For example, the next property tax bill will be for July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021. Bills will be generated and sent no later than August 2020. The first installment of the tax payment is due on September 30, which covers July 1 through December 31. The second installment is due by December 31 and covers the period from January 1 through June 30.

Where do I make my propoerty tax payment?

In most cases, property tax is paid through your mortgage lender because lenders want to ensure the payment is not delinquent, protecting themselves in case of foreclosure.

If you are making your payment (or have a specific question about payment), contact your local assessment office or visit its website for more information.

What if I disagree with the property tax assessment?

Homeowners who wish to appeal the results of an assessment may do so with no additional fee. (If you receive a bill in the mail for an assessment appeal, disregard it as it is a scam.) There are three situations in which you can submit an appeal:

  • Upon receipt of your assessment notice

If your property was assessed and you disagree with the results, you can appeal within 45 days of the notice by replying directly on the mailed notice or online.

  • By petition of review

In some cases, external factors occur during the non-assessment years that affect the value of your property. This is when it is appropriate to file a petition by mail or online, and this can be done on the first working day after January 1.

  • When you purchase the property between January 1 and June 30

Finally, if you purchase a property between January 1 and June 30, you can appeal the assessment (using the same forms as the petition).

For more details about the assessment appeal process, visit the SDAT website.

Do I have to pay the full tax amount if I just purchased the property?

If you purchase a home between January 1 and June 30, you can appeal the latest assessment by mail or online. Note that the deed transferring ownership MUST be recorded with the local jurisdiction’s land records before the assessment office can proceed with the appeal, and the appeal must be filed within 60 days of the transfer.

Are there any tax credits available to property owners?

Maryland does offer property tax relief programs, such as the Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit and Homestead Tax Credit. In addition, applications for exemptions are available for Disabled Active Duty Service Members and Blind Persons. Find all SDAT forms and applications here.

Related: 3 Great Maryland Homeownership Programs for First-Time Homebuyers

For additional information on this topic contact Evelyn Miller, Partner, at 202-753-7400.

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