Counties Support Remedy to Compensate Low-Income Residents for Excessive Tax Payments

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally yesterday testified in support of HB 158 Property Tax – Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit – Calculation and Refunds before the House Ways and Means Committee. This bill requires the State to compensate thousands of low-income taxpayers for errors made by the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) in calculating the Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit.

From the MACo Testimony: 

The Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit (HTC) is a State-funded program that provides credits
against state and local real property taxes for homeowners who qualify based on a sliding
scale of property tax liability and income. According to a recent report from the Office of
Legislative Audits, since at least 2005, SDAT erroneously included adjustments based on other
property tax credits when calculating the value of HTCs in at least two jurisdictions
(Montgomery County and Baltimore City), and in 2019, improperly reduced these credits by at
least $4.4 million.

HB 158 clarifies the calculation of the Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit Program (HTC) by
basing the credit on the amount of property taxes paid prior to any adjustments for other
property tax credits, and requires the State to retroactively grant refunds to eligible
homeowners.

As SDAT administers the State HTC, as well as supplemental credits awarded to eligible
homeowners by their local governments, the State should similarly be the party responsible for
paying any and all refunds for overpayments due to miscalculating these credits.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2021 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.

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