[Chat] The homestead tax credit

Stephen J Gewirtz gewirtz at bellatlantic.net
Tue Apr 3 22:48:04 EDT 2012

An article in today's Sun reports that this year, those who have not 
applied for the homestead tax credit will lose it.

The homestead tax credit limits increases in your effective assessment 
to 4% per year compounded for City and CVCBD tax purposes and to 10% 
compounded for State tax purposes.  It applies to any owner occupied 
principal residence.  However, a married couple may not receive the 
homestead tax credit for two different properties (but I suspect that 
there is an exception here if they are legally separated).  On the other 
hand, a person may claim the homestead tax credit for his/her own 
principal residence and may have his/her name on the deed of another 
property which receives the homestead tax credit as long as the second 
property is the principal residence of another owner who is not the 
first person's spouse.  For example, I receive the homestead tax credit 
on my own residence, and my son was eligible to receive it on his 
residence even while my name was on his deed as a co-owner (in order to 
get a better mortgage rate).

If  you own your home and if it is your principal residence, it is 
important that you make sure that  you have filed the form to receive 
the homestead tax credit.  Otherwise, you may pay a lot more in real 
estate taxes than you need to.

To check if you have already filed the form, go to this web site: 
Use the pull down menu to put in Baltimore City, and then click on 
"Street Address."  Put in your address (and for the street, leave out 
north, south, etc., and leave out street or avenue).  For example, if 
you live on North Calvert Street, just put in calvert (it does not 
matter whether you capitalize or not).  And for East 27th Street, just 
put it 27th.

You will get a page showing your assessment.  At the bottom of the page, 
it will show whether you have been approved for the homestead tax 
credit.  In my own case, it shows that the homestead tax credit was 
approved 4/30/2008.  That is about when the State first asked people to 
file the form either by snail mail or online, and I filed online.

If you have not been approved for it, go to this web page: 
Here,  you can use the pull down menu to put in Baltimore City, click on 
"Continue," and fill out the form.  It will ask for your social security 
number and other information to make it possible for the State 
Department of Assessments and Taxation to check that neither you nor 
your spouse if any have any other property receiving the homestead tax 

In my own case, without the homestead tax credit, I would have paid 
almost twice what I did pay in real estate taxes on my last tax bill.  
My effective assessment and my tax will go up 4% for the City and CVCBD 
taxes and 10% for the State tax, but that will still be a lot less than 
my tax would be without the homestead tax credit.

*Do not  get caught paying more than you have to.

*I have included some community leaders in this  email in case they want 
to forward my advice to their constituents.  And I know that City 
Council Member Mary Pat Clarke very much encouraged her constituents to 
file the form when it was first sent out by the State.

BTW, I just checked some of my nearest neighbors, and almost all have 
filed the form.  I did find one couple who had not filed, and I  will 
notify them in a separate email.

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