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Making Sense of Property Tax Bills

Learn more about Baltimore County's property tax bills.

by Keith Dorsey

Baltimore County Budget Director

It’s that time of the year when Baltimore County residents will receive their annual property tax bills. 296,000 bills will go in the mail this Saturday, and usually arrive just before the 4th of July. If you are like me, when you receive a bill and the envelope includes other pieces of paper, there is a great temptation to just toss that extra paper into the recycling bin. But before you do that with your property tax bill please take a moment to read the other inserts. There is some important information included with your bill:

  • There is a flyer entitled Taxpayer’s Information, July 2012 that has important phone numbers to keep on file throughout the year as well as an explanation of different payment options, a change of address billing form, and other relevant items. 
  • I often get asked if there are other charges on a property tax bill in addition to the property tax itself.  The answer to that question is yes.  There are fees that are mandated by Baltimore City and the State of Maryland that are included on your property tax bill.
  • While Baltimore City bills property owners directly for water bills, the county is also responsible for its share of the sewer fees which appear on the property tax bill as the Metropolitan District Sewer Service Charge. The county collects its portion of the sewage fee to help repair its aging sewer system as part of a federally-mandated consent decree, and it turns over a portion of this fee to the city for maintenance of its sewer treatment plants. 
  • The state also requires the county to collect a fee for the Bay Restoration Fund (BRF). The state uses these funds to upgrade sewage treatment plants in an effort to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.  Residential property owners are charged $60 annually.  There is a flyer in the property tax bills explaining this fee.

The Baltimore County property tax rate remains unchanged for the upcoming year. It is the 24th year in a row that the property tax rate has not been increased. If you have any questions regarding your property tax bill, please call 410-887-2403.

I hope this information is helpful.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Doug Donovan June 27, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Helpful? Yes. Thanks for the head's up.
M. Sullivan July 02, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Please note that the "Bay Restoration Fund" has just been doubled this year from $30 to $60. Yet another O'Malley administration tax increase! This fund is constantly being raided for other projects unrelated to the Bay. A Moody’s report 14 months ago downgraded bonds backed by flush tax revenue because of “raids on fund balances” in 2010 and 2011 of $200 million. The report also warned that future raids could result in another downgrade. An additional $90 million was taken from the fund in fiscal 2012 — four months after the Moody’s report.
Kathy August 22, 2012 at 08:00 PM
So, if your water bill was screwed up due to not reading the meter properly, or whatever, then that means that your water & sewer service charge on your property tax bill is also screwed up because it's based on how much water you used x $. Who do you talk to about having the water & sewer service charge on your property tax bill rectified?

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