MACo Opposes Homestead Property Tax Credit-Application Requirement-Repeal

Michael Sanderson, MACo Executive Director, presented testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee, on March 4, 2015 opposing HB 996, Homestead Property Tax Credit-Application Requirement-Repeal. This bill repeals the application requirement for the Homestead Property Tax Credit program, which gives tax relief to homeowners by capping the amount of the annual assessment for property tax purposes. In 2007, an application process was created to establish a homeowner’s claim of a property as “owner occupied”. Since this application has been created, homeowners who receive the credit submit an application to continue to be a part of the homestead property tax credit.

The written testimony explains:

MACo believes the General Assembly did the right thing by requiring the application. It has improved the administration of the program and provides a verification mechanism to ensure only eligible homeowners are receiving the credit. Abuse of the Homestead Credit is unfair to other taxpayers, as it depresses the tax base beyond the targeted intent of the policy.

During the bill’s public hearing, Delegate Long (the bill’s sponsor) suggested he would support alternative means to reduce the potential burden and surprise of the application process. Mr. Sanderson responded, indicating comfort “as long as the core intent of the application process stays intact.”

For more on MACo’s 2015 legislation, visit the Legislative Database.