MACo: Streamline Awareness for Property Tax Relief

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally yesterday testified in support of HB 1255 Homestead and Homeowners’ Property Tax Credits with amendments. This bill generally expands eligibility awareness for the Homestead Property Tax Credit and alters the calculation and eligibility of the Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit.

MACo supports the principle of notifying taxpayers of opportunities for them to take advantage of homeowner tax benefits. Several counties grant a local supplement to the Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit program, the cost of which is borne by the local government.

By altering the computation and eligibility of the program, local supplement programs may be affected – with those jurisdictions opting to create supplemental programs bearing a larger fiscal loss than they had anticipated at the time of their local program adoption. MACo urges an amendment to address this concern.

From the MACo Testimony:

The Homestead Property Tax Credit acts to essentially cap assessments of owner-occupied residences, so that a resident’s property tax burden does not increase too substantially over the prior year. It provides consistency for taxpayers who live in and own their homes. HB 1255 requires the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) to design a one-page document concerning eligibility for the Homestead Tax Credit. The document must be included as an addendum to a contract for the sale of real property to anyone who intends to occupy the property as their principal residence.

In general, MACo stands for local self-determination. Counties, led by their elected leaders who are directly accountable within the community, are in the best position to make decisions on local affairs – ranging from land use to budget priorities. MACo steadfastly guards this local autonomy, and frequently advocates against statewide solutions that mandate county compliance or otherwise override local decision-making.

Counties stand ready to work with state policymakers to develop flexible and optional tools to create broad or targeted tax incentives, but resist state-mandated changes that preclude local input.

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