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Property tax relief available for some

January 23, 2006|by TARA REILLY

Maryland offers different tax credit programs to property owners and renters who meet income guidelines.

The Homeowners' Property Tax Credit Program "sets a limit on the amount of property taxes any homeowner must pay based upon his or her income," according to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.

For example, a property owner with an annual household income of $16,000 would pay no more than $480 a year in property taxes, according to a state chart that lists the tax limits based on household income.

Washington County Treasurer Todd Hershey said Friday the state issued $1,182,551 in homeowners' credits to Washington County property owners in fiscal year 2005, which ended June 30, 2005.

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The credits were distributed to 1,636 recipients, he said.

The tax credit program applies to only the properties in which the owner lives and the taxes resulting from the first $150,000 off assessed value, according to the Department of Assessments and Taxation.

Maryland also offers property tax credits to renters based on income.

The Renters' Tax Credit Program "rests on the reasoning that renters indirectly pay property taxes as part of their rent and thus have some protection, as do homeowners," according to the Department of Assessments and Taxation.

Under certain conditions, a renter can receive a credit of as much as $600. The credit is paid as a check from the state, according to the department.

Hershey said the state issued $58,185 in renters' tax credits to 235 renters in fiscal year 2005.

For more specific information about the Homeowners' Property Tax Credit and Renters' Tax Credit programs or tax exemption information, visit www.dat.state.md.us.

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