Counties Oppose Legislation to Subvert Homestead Credit

This week, MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally testified before the House Ways and Means Committee in opposition to HB 677 – Homestead Property Tax Credit – Portability of Value to New Dwelling. This bill opens up property tax savings under the Homestead Property Tax Credit to be “portable” for specified homeowners. This dramatically undermines the longstanding policy purpose of the credit – to ensure stability in tax bills after the time of purchase.

From the MACo testimony

Counties oppose this bill because it compromises the basic nature of the Homestead Property Tax Credit and threatens a severe fiscal impact to county budgets. 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. Nearly every county has exercised their authority to lower their caps, providing security to homeowners beyond that which is required by the State.

HB 677 would make up to $25,000 in property tax savings “portable” for individuals that previously received the credit and purchase a new dwelling within three years. Although the portability is limited to the first taxable year of the new dwelling, this bill could severely undermine local revenues. In addition, tracking the transfer of credits would be extremely complex and administratively burdensome for both local governments and the State Department of Assessments and Taxation.

More on MACo’s Advocacy:

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2022 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.
Learn more about MACo’s 2022 Legislative Initiatives.
Read more General Assembly News on MACo’s Conduit Street blog.