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NEWS
By James M. Coram and James M. Coram,Sun Staff Writer | January 22, 1995
Howard County residents are used to getting new year shocks from the property tax assessor, but many weren't prepared for the one they got this year.Nearly half the 23,480 properties assessed in Ellicott City and west Columbia the past year declined in value, some by more than 10 percent; the others increased.A similar assessment picture is expected a year from now when another third of the county -- Savage, North Laurel and the rural west -- is reassessed, and two years from now when east Columbia and parts of Elkridge get their turn.
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NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | June 4, 2014
Property taxes for Baltimore homeowners will drop again under Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's plan to gradually lower the city's rate to bring it more in line with the rest of the state. The city's spending panel agreed Wednesday to lower the rate to $2.13 per $100 of assessed value — still double the levy of surrounding counties, but down 14 cents in the past two years. The reduction is part of the mayor's plan to knock 20 cents off the tax for homeowners by 2020. The tax break, approved without discussion by the Board of Estimates, will lower the property tax bill for an average home by $174.
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BUSINESS
By Robert Nusgart and Robert Nusgart,SUN STAFF | April 6, 2001
In two minutes, it was over. A 23-room Ellicott City mansion - built by a couple who won a multimillion-dollar Powerball lottery game in 1994 - was sold at auction last night for $2.58 million, several hundred thousand less than its assessed value. Michael Fine, senior vice president for Chicago-based Sheldon Good & Co. Auctions, which handled the event at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel, would identify the high bidder only as a Maryland resident. The winning bid was $2.4 million, but $180,000 was added to satisfy the auctioneer's buyer's premium of 7.5 percent.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | April 28, 2012
They're some of the priciest condos in the city, but they're taxed like empty lots. At the Ritz-Carlton Residences along Baltimore's Inner Harbor — where a recent sale topped $1.5 million — the tax bill for most of the condos was $1,309 apiece this year. At Silo Point, an industrial conversion with gourmet kitchens, hardwood floors and sweeping views of the city, the bill for many of the units is $238 each. Even though they were built years ago, and city inspectors declared them ready to live in, they are still valued for tax purposes as though construction never got off the ground.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert and Scott Calvert,SUN STAFF | April 26, 2000
Faced with a bevy of school maintenance needs and new employee contracts, County Executive Janet S. Owens will seek the first increase in the local property tax rate since 1996, according to several County Council members. Council members expect Owens to propose raising the rate by 4 cents per $100 of assessed value -- or 1.7 percent -- when she unveils her 2000-2001 budget request Monday. That is the maximum allowed under the terms of a revenue cap passed by voter referendum in 1992.
NEWS
September 11, 1997
The Mount Airy Town Council has agreed to keep the town's homestead tax credit at 103 percent for 1997-1998.The homestead tax credit limits the increase in assessed value RTC on which a property can be taxed. Under Mount Airy's credit, for example, a homeowner would not see a taxable increase of more than 3 percent a year or 9 percent over Maryland's three-year phased-in assessment.For example, if a house's assessed value rises 20 percent under Maryland's three-year phased assessment, a homeowner living in a town with a 3 percent cap would be taxed only on a 9 percent increase in assessed value over the three years.
NEWS
April 12, 2006
Operating budget: $68.6 million Spending increase: 10 percent Proposed tax rate: 56 cents per $100 of assessed value (no change) Employee raises: 3 percent New spending: Five additional police officers; bulkhead repairs at City Dock; water and sewer improvements[Source: Office of the Mayor]
NEWS
July 25, 1996
Sykesville homeowners may divide their property tax bills into two annual installments, due this month and Jan. 1.Residents, who traditionally have been responsible for the entire tax payment July 1, must choose a payment plan and notify town officials.Late payment fees will be assessed Oct. 1 and Feb. 1.Town property taxes, 79 cents per $100 of assessed value, are paid in addition to county taxes, $2.62 per $100 of assessed value.FireGamber: Firefighters responded at 3 p.m. Tuesday to a smoke detector alarm in the 4700 block of Sykesville Road.
NEWS
By JOSH MITCHELL and JOSH MITCHELL,SUN REPORTER | October 18, 2005
Three Baltimore County councilmen have submitted a bill that would stiffen the penalty for demolishing historic structures without a permit. People without a permit who demolish structures on the historic landmarks list now face a fine equal to the assessed value of the building but no greater than $100,000. Under the new proposal, violators would face the greater of $158,000 or the assessed value of the property. The minimum fine of $158,000 would increase each year by the average annual increase in county property values.
NEWS
By Eric Siegel and Eric Siegel,SUN STAFF | May 22, 1997
Property owners in Baltimore's central business district will see their surcharge to combat "crime and grime" downtown increase, in part to pay for two staffers to coordinate the use of new anti-crime video surveillance cameras and to plan street and sidewalk improvements.The Board of Estimates, a panel of the city's top elected and appointed officials, unanimously approved yesterday a 3.8-cent increase in the surcharge, to 34.55 cents per $100 of assessed value, for the fiscal year that begins July 1.The surcharge for the downtown benefits district is in addition to the city's overall property tax rate of $5.85 per $100 of assessed value and accounts for the bulk of the downtown district's $2.67 million annual budget.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | January 9, 2012
City Councilman Carl Stokes says he may go straight to voters this fall to approve cutting the city's property tax rate in half by 2017 — a proposal he said would be paid for, in part, by raising a cap that limits the assessed value that can be taxed. His tax proposal faces strong opposition from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who says it's unrealistic and would wreck the city's finances. She has a more modest plan to cut the rate on owner-occupied homes by 9 percent over eight years.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | December 28, 2010
Maryland homeowners will see property values plunge 22 percent on average in the latest round of state assessments — a record drop that won't necessarily translate into lower taxes. State assessors plan to announce the details today as they mail notices to the one-third of residential and commercial owners whose properties were reassessed, about 740,000 in all. Assessed values dropped on 95 percent of the residential properties compared with their last reassessment in late 2007, when home prices were just beginning to reverse after big increases.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey and Annie Linskey,annie.linskey@baltsun.com | April 16, 2009
Baltimore's Board of Estimates approved an agreement Wednesday to lease city-owned land near M&T Bank Stadium to the developers of a slots parlor, with revenues aimed at a reduction in the property tax rate. "I made it very clear that we would only do this for property tax reduction and school construction," said Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon, who has previously opposed gambling. The city officials hope for an 8-cent reduction in the city's property tax rate of $2.27 per $100 in assessed value - more than twice as high as in adjacent Baltimore County and the highest in the state by far. City Council President Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake supported the measure, saying that the city will "flourish" by using revenues from the facility's rent payments to build schools and cut taxes.
NEWS
By John Fritze and John Fritze,Sun reporter | April 23, 2008
Blaming a weak economy and shaky revenues, Mayor Sheila Dixon is abandoning a long-standing plan to cut 2 cents this year from Baltimore's highest-in-the-state property tax rate. The annual cut - which has been made each of the past three years - was supposed to knock 10 cents off the tax rate over a five-year period. The reductions have become a primary means to provide tax relief to city property owners. Baltimore's property tax rate is by far the highest in Maryland - more than twice Baltimore County's - and a broad spectrum of city officials have acknowledged that the tax may be stifling growth and threatening homeowners on fixed incomes.
NEWS
By John Fritze and John Fritze,Sun reporter | March 20, 2008
Relying on a surge in property and income tax revenue to offset losses from a sliding economy, Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon proposed a modest budget yesterday with a small property tax cut and no increase in other levies. Predicting tougher times ahead, Dixon proposed a $2.92 billion budget, about 10.4 percent more than last year. The plan includes nominal increases for police, fire and schools but also cuts to parks and health programs and the elimination of 95 vacant positions. The spending plan, which must be approved by the City Council, continues for the fourth straight year the city's practice of reducing its property tax rate by 2 cents annually, though many residents will still pay more because of rising assessments.
BUSINESS
By Kristine Henry and Kristine Henry,Special to the Sun | February 3, 2008
Nick Chirigos could hardly believe his eyes earlier this year when he opened the letter from the state telling him the new assessed value of his home. It had shot up nearly 60 percent from the last assessment he received in 2005. "These increases are confiscatory and outrageous," said the Lutherville resident. Chirigos has already filed an appeal -- something he's had success with in the past. He built the 3,400-square-foot home in 1996, and it was assessed a few months later. A year later, the state re-evaluated the house and said it was worth $100,000 more, even though he had made no significant improvements to it. "All I did was plant three rose bushes that cost me $45 -- and I dug the holes for them myself," he said.
NEWS
By Michael J. Clark and Michael J. Clark,Howard County Bureau of The Sun | March 16, 1991
Columbia property owners have been overcharged on their town fees for the past 12 years, with each household paying more than $1,000 too much, a group of civic activists contends.The controversial claim was raised by the Alliance for a Better Columbia at Thursday night's meeting of the Columbia Council, which manages public facilities in the unincorporated city.Council Chairman Charles A. Acquard discounted the alliance claims yesterday, saying that the law firm of Piper & Marbury had given town officials an opinion concluding that they were not overcharging property owners.
NEWS
January 18, 2006
We want your opinions THE ISSUE: In his final State of the County address last week, County Executive James N. Robey proposed a 3-cent reduction in the county property tax. If approved in the 2007 budget, the property tax rate would be dropped from $1.044 to $1.01 per $100 of assessed value. That means the tax bill for a house valued at $450,000 would decrease from $4,698 to $4,563. Do you think this is a fair proposal? YOUR VIEW: Send e-mail responses by tomorrow to howard.speakout@baltsun.
NEWS
By Lynn Anderson and Lynn Anderson,Sun reporter | January 17, 2008
A study committee's proposal to decrease Baltimore's property tax rate but make up for lost revenue by increasing the cap on assessed home value, among other options, evoked negative reactions from dozens of city homeowners at a hearing last night. The proposal to lift the annual cap on the increase in assessments on principal residences, known as the Homestead Tax Credit, from 4 percent to 10 percent seemed to worry homeowners most, especially those who bought houses before the local real estate market peaked.
NEWS
January 7, 2008
Baltimore suffers from a difficult conjunction of financial maladies: the highest property tax rate in Maryland, the greatest concentration of poverty in the region and a big swath of tax-exempt property (fully one-third of its taxable base). The best way to lower the tax rate would be to enlarge the tax base, but unfortunately, the best way to enlarge the base is to lower the rate. It's not a vicious circle, exactly, but it's one that's very difficult to break into. What's the city to do?
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