Don't Overlook Homestead Tax Credit to Reduce Property Tax Liability

LEONARDTOWN, Md. (Feb. 1, 2009)—The typical American taxpayer, were he to hear an elected politician say he wanted you to pay less in taxes, would probably dive for cover to avoid being struck as the politician's nose quickly protruded from his face. Despite that image, St. Mary’s County Commissioners are urging homeowners who received a property assessment from the state in December 2008 to not overlook the Homestead Tax Credit application as a way to pay less in property taxes.

Effective October 1, 2007, a new law enacted by the 2007 session of the Maryland General Assembly requires all homeowners to make a one-time application in order to be eligible to receive or continue receiving the Homestead Tax Credit. The Homestead Tax Credit law limits each year the amount of assessment increase on which an eligible resident homeowner actually pays County, Municipal and State property taxes. The application is required to insure that all property owners receive the credit on the one property used as their principal residence and not on properties used for other purposes, such as a rental or vacation home.

Homestead Tax Credit application forms can be downloaded at The application can also be filled out online if you have an application form containing your Real Property Account Number and an Access Number that was issued to you by the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation.

The Commissioners say those who feel their assessment is wrong or too high can appeal it by returning an appeal form by Feb. 13 to the local tax assessor’s office in the Carter State Office Building in Leonardtown. Appeals can be made in writing or as a telephone hearing, eliminating the need to come into the Assessments office. The phone number is 301-880-2901.

Residents can call the County Treasurer’s Office at 301-475-4472 or 301-475-4473 for questions about their tax bill.

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