Some Md. homeowners qualify for tax credit

March 27, 2007|by DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - Maryland homeowners with limited incomes can get a break on their property taxes, thanks to a state program that was enacted in 1975, said Tim O'Rourke, supervisor of assessment for the State Assessment Office in Hagerstown.

The Homeowners' Property Tax Credit Program sets a property-tax limit for qualifying homeowners whose annual gross income is $60,000 or less, according to the State Department of Assessments and Taxation.

An eligible homeowner earning $30,000 annually, for example, would not have to pay more than $1,680 per year in property taxes.

The state requires applicants to report their household's total income, which includes everyone living in the house unless they are dependents or pay rent.


In addition, the applicant's net worth cannot be more than $200,000. That amount excludes the property's value and qualifying retirement accounts.

Several other stipulations apply.

O'Rourke said the program was established initially to assist the elderly living on limited incomes. It was changed, however, to include homeowners of any age, he said.

Completing the paperwork to apply for the program can be intimidating, so people are welcome to make an appointment for help at the assessment office on Public Square in Hagerstown, O'Rourke said.

Applications are available at the assessment office and the Washington County Free Library.

According to the State Department of Assessments and Taxation, homeowners who file and qualify by May 1 will receive the credit directly on their tax bill or as a credit certificate issued at the same time the property-tax bill is mailed.

The deadline to file for the credit is Sept. 1 of each year.

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