Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott yesterday announced that all first-time owner-occupied tax liens are exempt from the City’s annual tax sale later this month. The Mayor also announced additional resources for at-risk homeowners.
“Today’s announcement is about being targeted and strategic in our approach to protect our legacy homeowners and center equity,” said Mayor Scott. “This is about taking the action we can take now, not simply kicking the can down the road, and working to address the underlying issues in this process to keep our most vulnerable residents housed.”
State law requires counties and Baltimore City to collect delinquent real property taxes and other unpaid charges, all of which are liens against real property. The law requires that tax sales occur no later than two years from the date the tax is in arrears.
As previously reported on Conduit Street, MACo successfully supported legislation to divert homeowners from the private tax lien process into an alternative program to minimize tax collection costs, assist with the payment of overdue taxes, and allow homeowners to remain in their homes.
According to a City press release:
The City will closely monitor the 2021 tax sale and take action to support homeowners during and immediately following this year’s sale. The Finance Department will be dedicating three full-time employees to individually assist homeowners.
Beginning today, residents experiencing issues related to the tax sale may call 410-396-3556 to be connected with a member of the Bureau of Revenue Collections who is familiar with the tax sale process. Residents who are waiting for their payment to post, who are appealing any bill, and who are unsure about whether they qualify for additional support should call that number for support.
The Mayor and his administration will also pursue local and state policy changes that would give the City more local control over the tax sale process.