Harford County government has begun accepting applications from eligible seniors and retired veterans to receive a 20 percent credit on their county property taxes for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2018.
The deadline to apply for the credit, which was enacted earlier this year, is Monday, April 2, the county announced in a news release. Applicants must be mailed; there is no online process for applying, but forms and information have been made available on the county’s website.
To qualify, residents must be at least 65 years old, own a home with an assessed value of $400,000 or less and meet one of the following two conditions: They must have either lived in the home for at least 40 years or be a retired member of the uniformed services of the United States, the military reserves or the National Guard.
The tax break will be available in each of the next five fiscal years through legislation initiated by Harford County Executive Barry Glassman and approved by the County Council. The term limit and eligibility requirements in Harford County’s legislation follows limits established in state enabling legislation signed in 2016 by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, the county release notes.
Representatives of veterans organizations give their full support to a Harford County bill that would provide tax breaks to retired military and elderly homeowners, while other residents express concerns over parts of the legislation.
County administration spokesperson Cindy Mumby said treasury staff have worked to make the application process as seamless as possible while also ensuring those who apply meet the eligibility requirements.
Applicants for the property tax credit must document their eligibility with a copy of valid ID and a copy of the front page of their property deed or DD214 military forms, where applicable.
Applicants may obtain a copy of their deed through the Clerk of the Court’s Land Records Office by calling 410-638-3474 or going online at https://mdlandrec.net/main/. The latter source requires the user to create a free account, and Mumby said county staff “will assist anyone who is having trouble.”
Applications may be printed from the county website or picked up from the Harford County Department of the Treasury window at 220 S. Main St. in Bel Air. Treasury window hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Anyone who needs assistance filling out an application is encouraged to call the Harford County Department of the Treasury at 410-638-3450, where staff has been dedicated to answer questions related to the tax credit.
A signed copy of the completed application and related eligibility documents should be mailed before April 2 to Harford County Government Department of the Treasury, Attn. Bill 17-021 Tax Credit; P.O. Box 609, Bel Air, Md. 21014. Applications may also be hand delivered to the Treasury window at any time prior to the deadline.
Successful applicants may receive the tax credit for up to five years; however, a separate application must be submitted by April 1 for each year in which the credit is sought, according to the county news release.
Information about the available tax credit will also be on the homepage of the county website www.harfordcountymd.gov, posted in Harford County’s senior centers, on social media and at all 11 branches of Harford County Public Library.