Homestead Tax Credit deadline looms
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 14:54

Application deadline set for Dec. 30

by Nicole Rodman

    The deadline to file an application for the 2013 Maryland Homestead Tax Credit is quickly approaching.
    Homeowners have until Monday, Dec. 30, to file for the credit or risk losing it for at least a year.
    The Homestead Tax Credit was originally established as a way to limit large assessment increases on property taxes and encourage home ownership.
    Initially, the tax credit was applied automatically.    
    In 2007, the Maryland General Assembly passed a law mandating that homeowners must submit a one-time application to continue receiving the Homestead Tax Credit.
   

The purpose of requiring an application is to ensure that the credit is only being applied to primary residences and not to vacation homes or rental properties.
    Under the Homestead Tax Credit program, property assessment increases  are limited to 10 percent or less each year, depending on the jurisdiction in which the residence is located.
    In Baltimore County and Baltimore City, assessment increases are limited to four percent.
    If an assessment increases by more than the set limit, the homeowner may be eligible to receive a tax credit for the difference.
    Eligibility for the tax credit is not based on income or property value.
    In order to receive the Homestead Tax Credit, homeowners must file an application stating that they are the property owner, that there was no change in zoning classification leading to a property value increase and that there was no change in the use of the property.
    In addition, the property owner must live in the residence for at least six months of the year (although special exceptions are available for extended hospitalization or special care.)
    Property owners can only receive the Homestead Tax Credit on one property.
    To determine whether or not an application has already been filed, visit the Maryland Department of Assessments & Taxation’s SDAT: Real Property Search at http://sdat.resiusa.org/
RealProperty/Pages/default.aspx.
    On that page, select the applicable county and choose street address as the search method.
    By entering a street address, public property records are accessible.
    At the bottom of the page, the status of the Homestead Tax Credit on that property will be listed.
     Homestead Tax Credit status can also be checked by calling 410-767-2165.
    Applications can be requested by contacting the Department of Assessments and Taxation at 410-767-2165 or 1-866-650-8783 or by emailing homestead@dat.state.md.us.
    Homeowners can also access an application at www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/homestead_
application.pdf.
    The application may be submitted online at https://sdathtc.resiusa.org/homestead/.
    While homeowners who miss the Dec. 30 deadline can apply next year, they will miss out on the Homestead Tax Credit for 2013.
    For more information, visit the web at www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/homestead.html.