Help to Pay Property Tax for Low Income Families

House payment

If you or someone you know is having problem in paying property taxes on their houses in this tough economy, this may help!

The State of Maryland has developed a program which allows credits against the homeowner’s property tax bill if the property taxes exceed a fixed percentage of the person’s gross income. In other words, it sets a limit on the amount of property taxes any homeowner must pay based upon his or her income.

This plan has been in existence since 1975 when it was known as the “circuit breaker” plan for elderly homeowners. The plan was called circuit breaker because it shut off the property tax bill at a certain point just like an electric circuit breaker shuts off the current when the circuit becomes overloaded. The Maryland General Assembly has improved the plan through the years so that now this program is available to all homeowners regardless of their age, and the credits are given where needed based upon the person’s income.

Applications are due Sep 1 based on 2010 household gross income. If instead you end up with low income in 2011, that will reduce your 2012 property taxes (better to file by May 1 so you get credit directly on the bill instead of paying full amount and getting refund later). So unfortunately there is a lag between the time of need and the time of relief, but at least it is better than not having this program.

You can find more information about the program here: http://www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/htc.html

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