State Tax Credit Errors Leave Baltimore City Revenues Short Millions

An investigation by the Baltimore Sun has yielded information showing repeated data errors by the State Department of Assessments and Taxation yielding lost revenue to the City of Baltimore. From the Sun‘s coverage:

Government officials said they don’t know how widespread the errors are among historic credits. But within the program’s 10 largest tax breaks alone, The Sun found seven with errors totaling around $2 million in uncollected city taxes.

When asked to comment on The Sun’s conclusions, Owen C. Charles, deputy director of the state Department of Assessments and Taxation, conceded that his agency has made repeated errors in administering some aspects of the program. “The computations are incorrect,” he said.

“Certainly it’s unfortunate that this has occurred,” he added. “We’ll do everything in our power to make sure the rectification does occur, and to ensure going forward that the values on which the credits are computed are done in a manner they should be.”

While the City of Baltimore is host to more properties receiving the historic tax credit, and was the focus of the Sun investigation, the program is a statewide and affects numerous properties in many jurisdictions elsewhere.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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