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State says tax relief may be available for businesses damaged in Baltimore riot

The Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation said Friday that business owners that had partial or total destruction of their property during the recent turmoil in Baltimore may be eligible for some tax relief.

Officials said that in some cases, relief is available in the form of reduced property taxes or no property taxes for the current, and next, fiscal year.

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The amount of relief depends on the severity of damage, as well as when during the year the damage occurred. Building owners may also be entitled to property tax relief if their property was damaged.

Many businesses were damaged in the riot that broke out April 27 after a confrontation between youth and police ignited violent clashes, fires and looting. The unrest followed days of protests over the death of Freddie Gray a week after suffering a severe spinal injury in police custody.

Officials said in a release that the Baltimore City Assessment Office has gathered reports from the Baltimore City Fire Department and are sending assessors to the field to assess the damage to properties. Although assessors are gathering information, it's up to the individual property owners to contact the State Department of Assessments and Taxation to determine if they qualify for the relief, and how much relief they are entitled to.

Property owners may contact the SDAT Business Personal Property office at 410-767-1170. Owners can also contact the SDAT Baltimore City Assessment Office at the William Donald Schaefer Tower, 6 Saint Paul St., 11th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202-1608; 410-767-8250, or via email at sdat.baltcity@maryland.gov.

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