2-7-12: Your Neighbor’s Taxes
You may recall property taxes dominating the campaign for mayor of Baltimore this past summer–how to cut property taxes, how much, how to make up for the revenue that would be lost.
Baltimore Sun reporters Scott Calvert and Jamie Smith Hopkins have gone deep below the talk with an investigative series about property taxes. Turns out they’re more of a burden on some city residents than they are on others.
One reason for the disparity is the Homestead Tax Credit. It’s a cap on the percentage increase on your property taxes. So if the assessed value of your home spikes, as it did for many before the crash, the property taxes won’t spike with it.
Sounds good, and the system does have its upsides. But it comes with a lot of inequities, as well as opportunities for fraud, all of which keep potential revenue out of the city’s coffers. Jamie Smith Hopkins and Scott Calvert tell Sheilah why that is, and what reforms lawmakers are proposing.
Friday is the deadline to challenge your home assessment, at least for the one-third of Maryland homeowners who received their assessment values on December 27. Here you can find a form you can use to appeal your assessment. And here you can find assessments for properties in Maryland.
Scott and Jamie talk about the process of analyzing the data behind their investigative series: Scott and Jamie discuss citizen input to their series: Scott discusses the shortage of assessors in the state: