Tagged: Homestead Tax Credit

Homestead Tax Credit Application Deadline is Quickly Approaching!

Have you applied for the Maryland homestead tax credit yet?

The purpose of the Homestead Credit Program is to help homeowners afford annual property tax increases on their owner-occupied homes. The State caps annual assessment increases at 10 percent as applied to annual property taxes. Baltimore City caps at 4 percent. This credit protects homeowners, regardless of age, income, or property value, from annually spiking tax bills. It’s an important credit, and if you have not yet applied — the deadline is December 31, 2012.

Please note: This tax credit is NOT for rental properties or second homes. All homes receiving this tax credit must be owner-occupied.

Five years ago, the Maryland General Assembly required that all Maryland homeowners apply one time only to continue receiving the State’s Homestead Tax Credit. This action was taken to “weed out” recipients’ illegally claiming investment properties or second homes as eligible for this credit.

If you can’t remember whether you applied when you purchased your home, you can go to the State Department of Assessments and Taxation’s website and check:

  • Enter your address, and go to the bottom of the screen.
  • Where it says “Homestead Application Status”, if it says “NO APPLICATION”, it means you need to fill out the form and mail it in by the deadline.
  • If it gives a date and says the application has been received, you’re done.

Please remember that all applications must be received on or before December 31, 2012, or you will lose this credit for tax year 2013.

You can find more information and download the application form here.

Maryland Homestead Tax Fraud and Other News

We often wondered how many of our city’s non-resident property owners were taking the Maryland Homestead Tax Credit and claiming their property as “owner-occupied”.  We figured there had to be a few tax cheats out there, right? There were more than a few.  One of our readers found 384 of them, in fact.  Out of 1000+ vacant homes our reader found in the city’s database that were possibly not owner-occupied, over one-third of the owners are definitely cheating the state (and you, if you’re a resident of Maryland) out of thousands of dollars per year. Maryland is hardly in the position of letting that kind of cash fly out of the State House windows.  As usual, we’re going to dig deeper and see what we can find out about some of these property owners. Stay tuned.  Baltimore Sun blogger Jamie Smith Hopkins is also on top of this — if you haven’t bookmarked her blog, you should.

In other news, it seems that Baltimore’s favorite drug lord, Milton Tillman III, is feeling the pinch of the bad economy.  Thirty-five of his properties went into foreclosure last week.  His property at 116 N. Curley Street is currently under contract — maybe that will bring in some much-needed cash.

The City Paper ran an expose on the Baltimore vs. Wells Fargo lawsuit — turns out many of the “victims” were less than stellar citizens, and one “victim” may not even exist.  We have to wonder if this is worth the cost of a lengthy trial.  How about revamping the City’s housing policies instead, to prevent future disasters?

Correction:  Our reader found 1,148 vacant homes that were listed as “Owner-Occupied”.  For 384 of them, our reader was able to track the owner’s true address.