The deadline to apply for a property tax credit that, on average, cuts more than $1,000 off a homeowner's tax bill, has been extended until the end of October.
Maryland residents can apply for the Homeowners' Property Tax Credit through October 31, said Robert E. Young, director of the state Department of Assessments and Taxation. The agency has extended the deadline from Sept. 1.
Application numbers have jumped in recent years, as people's jobs or overtime income has vanished, and Young said he didn't want the newly eligible to miss out.
"We administratively can extend the program until October the 31st," he said. "We've done it for at least the past three years. ... We're trying to reach the first-time applicants who checked out the homeowners' program, who said, 'I make too much income, I don't qualify,' and unfortunately their financial situation may have changed [and] they do qualify."
The Homeowners' Property Tax Credit is intended to help low- and moderate-income owners. To apply, a household must have an income of $60,000 or less.
The credit caps the amount a homeowner must pay in property taxes based on income. For instance, if a household's income is $60,000, the most that the state can bill in property taxes is $4,380. If the household has income less than $8,000, no tax will be assessed.
Some caveats: First, the applicant's net worth, not including the value of the house at issue and qualified retirement savings, must be less than $200,000. Second, the applicant must live in the home for which they are applying for the credit for at least six months of the year (unless the home was purchased recently). Third, the benefit only applies to $300,000 of a home's assessed value.
The program's average credit takes $1,174 off of an applicant's tax bill.
The tax credit must be applied for each year and applies to the current year's tax. Applicants who have already paid their property tax bill for the year will receive a refund check.
Baltimore Sun reporter Jamie Smith Hopkins contributed to this post.
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