Heads up, Baltimore: Property-tax bills will be arriving a bit late.
They're normally sent out by July 1, but the city's Department of Finance is warning that some might be mailed up to a week later because the tax rate wasn't certified until June 25.
Once the City Council approves the rate as part of the budget, the state Department of Assessments and Taxation needs five to seven business days to prepare tax assessment files for Baltimore, which in turn needs those to send bills, the city says.
"The bills will start going out on the 3rd and all of them should be out on or before the 7th," said Finance Director Harry E. Black.
Black says the City Council used its full allotment of time to approve the budget this year, "which is their right to do -- so it's just a matter of timing. Normally the budget is approved prior to the 25th."
The deadline to get a discount for paying property taxes early -- July 31 -- can't be extended because it's written into law, Black added. He said the department will ask the City Council to revise the deadline so it is 30 days from the issuance of bills, but he said there isn't enough time for the change to take effect for these bills.
They've been redesigned this year, by the way. The idea is to make it clear to property owners whether they're receiving a homestead property tax credit (it used to be labeled an "assessment credit" on the bills, confusing people) and show folks what their effective tax rate is after credits are factored in.
This is also the first year of a new break for owner-occupiers, the Targeted Homeowner's Tax Credit.
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