Baltimore County residents: Feel free to get nosy about your neighbors' property taxes.
The database contains numbers from the tax year that ended June 30, 2012, and gives users multiple search options.
In addition to looking up a property by address, users can search by the property owner's name, the assessed value, the tax amount or the credit amount.
The database shows all credits a property owner received and the percentage discount that the credits created.
Did you know that in Baltimore County, there are roughly 1,400 properties with an assessed value of more than $50,000 that, through a combination of credits, save more than 80 percent on their tax bill?
For instance, a $300,000 home in Kingsville, on Mount Vista Road, had a tax bill before credits of more than $3,600. With credits applied, the homeowner got 99 percent off — and had a net bill of only $30.
With the addition of the Baltimore County database, users can now search for property tax information from three Baltimore-area jurisdictions — the other two are Baltimore and Harford County.
The Sun plans to make similar property tax data for Howard and Carroll counties available online in the coming months.
The data Anne Arundel County provided was not comparable to the information received from other jurisdictions; its numbers did not allow The Sun to analyze total tax breaks for all properties.
Likewise, the data Baltimore provided fell short. For The Sun's “Taxing Baltimore” series, specifically this most recent database, the Sun's data team used an automated process called “scraping” to copy 237,000 property tax records from a city website and compile them into a database.
While we have continued conducting most of our tax analyses from our hard drives, we wanted to put the data on a server for public consumption, so that anyone can search for properties of interest to them.
These databases are the result of months of work by reporters Jamie Smith Hopkins and Scott Calvert and Web producer Patrick Maynard.
They negotiated for the data, analyzed it for articles and formatted it for access on the Web.
Table: Distribution of property tax credits in Baltimore County
Of the Baltimore County properties assessed for $50,000 or more, fewer than 10,000 get a discount from credits of more than 40 percent on their tax bill.
Discount after all creditsNumber of properties0 to 5 percent 94,824 6 to 10 percent 15,448 11 to 15 percent 26,766 16 to 20 percent 41,403 21 to 40 percent 69,279 41 to 60 percent 3,994 61 to 80 percent 3,103 81 to 100 percent 1,369
Source: The Baltimore Sun's Baltimore County property tax database
Browse The Sun's database of county property taxes at http://data.baltimoresun.com/property-taxes/baltimore-county/
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