Maryland launches new tax credit program

The state has started a new tax credit program designed to help make home ownership more affordable for working families, Housing and Community Development Secretary Raymond A. Skinner said Thursday.

The Maryland HomeCredit program allows eligible buyers to claim a federal tax credit worth 25 percent of interest paid on a mortgage -- up to $2,000 annually -- for the life of a loan, as long as the property remains a primary residence.  

To qualify, a buyer’s income and the price of the property must fall below certain limits, which vary by location.  In most cases, the buyer cannot have owned a home in at least three years, but there are exceptions for “targeted areas,” such as Baltimore City.

"We believe the Maryland HomeCredit program will make homeownership that much more affordable, particularly for first-time homebuyers who are in many ways the foundation of the housing market," Secretary Skinner said at the annual conference of the Maryland Mortgage Bankers Association in Columbia.

Officials said they expect to reach about 1,400 homeowners, or about $250 million worth of mortgages. The mortgage credit certificate program starts June 1 and will run through Dec. 31, 2015. Applications for the credit must go through a state-approved lender.

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