In today’s chaste economic climate, homeowners across the state are looking for any way to stretch their hard earned dollars. One way Maryland residents have traditionally been able to save is with the state’s Homestead Tax Credit.
Unbeknownst to many, however, for the first time, homeowners must apply to receive this credit, and the deadline is fast approaching. With applications lagging, City Council President Bernard “Jack” Young and the Baltimore City Council are calling on churches, civic organizations and the media to join in an all-out blitz urging homeowners to meet the deadline of Dec. 31. This blitz will kick off on Monday, Oct. 22nd at 4:00 p.m. at City Hall, 4th floor, Lobby of City Council Chambers.
Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, 14th District released this press release:
“Maryland Homeowners have long received the State’s Homestead Tax Credit. In Baltimore City, that credit limits annual property tax increases to 4 percent. Other subdivisions have different “caps” up to10 percent. Now, for the first and only time, homeowners must apply for this credit, and the application deadline is December 31, 2012.
Director Owen Charles, Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) will report on lagging applications among City homeowners and urge immediate calls and emails for applications (410-767-2165 and email@example.com). According to the state, 25,000 eligible City homeowners have not yet applied for the tax credit.
SDAT confirms that the average annual benefit to City homeowners is $1,060 in property tax savings.”
The city hall kick off comes amid complaints from area homeowners that they didn’t know they would have to apply for the homestead tax credit. One frustrated city resident told the Baltimore Post-Examiner that when she received the original mailing she at first assumed it was a piece of intrusive government junk mail. It was only upon further investigation, she said, that she realized the importance of the application.
“Politicians are always talking about helping the poor and the elderly, but who gets hurt the most when the state makes a change like this? The poor and the elderly.”
The press release does warn that this is a, “use it or lose it for 2013″ tax credit.
While Monday’s kick-off at city hall is geared toward homeowners in Baltimore City, the tax credit is available state wide. Homeowners in other jurisdictions are also encouraged to apply.
To receive the Homestead application, email HCREDIT@DAT.STATE.MD.US. In Baltimore, homeowners without internet access may call 410-767-2165. Homeowners in other parts of the state may call toll free: 1-866-650-8783.
Applications will be sent via U. S. mail. Once received, homeowners are asked to return the applications immediately.
Applications must be postmarked no later than New Year’s Eve.
Anthony C. Hayes is an actor, author, raconteur, rapscallion and bon vivant. A one-time newsboy for the Evening Sun and professional presence at the Washington Herald, Tony’s poetry, photography, humor, and prose have also been featured in Smile, Hon, You’re in Baltimore!, Destination Maryland, Magic Octopus Magazine, Los Angeles Post-Examiner, Voice of Baltimore, SmartCEO, Alvarez Fiction, and Tales of Blood and Roses. If you notice that his work has been purloined, please let him know. As the Good Book says, “Thou shalt not steal.”