An article in the Carroll County Times explains the personal property tax and summarizes the rates imposed by counties and municipalities across the State. From the article:
Personal property taxes are solely for businesses, and the rates are set by the county and municipal governments. While the state does not collect a personal property tax, it does assess businesses annually.
Real property is the assessment of a building or home, while personal property involves everything else. That includes furniture, fixtures, office and industrial equipment, machinery, tools, supplies and any other property not classified as real property, according to the state.
MACo successfully sought legislation during the 2013 session to give counties greater flexibility in setting personal property tax rates.
A law that recently went through the General Assembly changed the structure of personal property taxes. The new law allows county governments to set a personal property tax rate at no more than 2.5 times the real property tax rate. Prior to June, if the county had a personal property tax rate, it was set at 2.5 times the county’s real property tax rate.
MACo selected this issue as one of its 2013 legislative initiatives to allow counties to incentivize business investment using a deliberate approach rather than one that is lock-step with the more general real property tax rate.