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Taxes and Payments



The County Cashier Office is located on the 1st Floor of the George Howard Building, 3430 Court House Dr.  Ellicott City, MD 21043 to collect parking violation fines, permit fees, water and sewer payments, taxes and other revenue.

Payment Drop Box 

A drop box for after-hours payment of taxes, parking violation fines and water/sewer bills is next to the main entrance of the George Howard Building.  


Real Property Taxes  

Semi-Annual Payments 

Effective July 1, 2000, taxpayers are billed on a semi-annual basis for a primary residence. Effective July 1, 2011, small business real property is also eligible for semi-annual tax payments.  Real property taxes may be paid in two equal installments, due by Sept. 30 and Dec. 31, with no service charge. A taxpayer may pay the first installment by July 31 to receive a .5% discount on the amount of County Tax  paid. A taxpayer also has the option to pay the full year's bill on or before Sept. 30. For details, call Finance (410-313-2062). 


Annual Payments  

Real Property tax bills for non-owner occupied properties are billed on annual basis. The full year's bill is due on or before September 30. Taxpayers' also have the option to pay the full year's bill by July 31 to receive a .5% discount on the amount of county tax paid. For further details call Finance at: (410-313-2062).


Agricultural Land Preservation Program   

Landowners with state and county agricultural easements may be eligible for tax credits. Applications are available through the Department of Planning and Zoning (410-313-5407). 

 Assessment Appeals 

Property value can be appealed within 60 days after purchase. To appeal your three-year tax assessment, complete and return the form that comes with your Assessment Notice within 45 days of the notice date. Homeowners can appeal any year between July 1 and Dec. 31 for the following year's assessment. Call Assessments and Taxation (410-480-7940) for further information. 

 Front Foot Charges 

Front foot charges help to cover the cost for construction of public water and sewer mains. All properties are billed, whether or not they are connected or improved. To discuss the front foot assessment charges on your property tax bill, call Finance (410-313-2061). 

Homeowner's Tax Credit 

The Homeowner's Tax Credit Program allows credits against the homeowner's property tax bill if the property taxes exceed a fixed percentage of the owner's gross income. To find out if you qualify, call Assessments and Taxation (410-767-4433 or 1-800-944-7403) for an application. 

Metropolitan District Ad Valorem Charges 

The Metropolitan District Ad Valorem is designed to pay for retiring and paying interest on county issued bonds and to pay salaries and expenses of the Department of Public Works related to water and sewer systems. All properties within the Metropolitan District are billed. If you have questions, call Finance (410-313-2061). 

Property Assessment 

Your property assessment, used to compute taxes, is the fair market value assigned to your property. The State Department of Assessments and Taxation (410-480-7940) re-assesses property every three years or whenever there is a substantial change or change in use. 

Property Value 

The state Department of Assessments and Taxation (410-480-7940) values property for tax purposes. Property value is based on sales of comparable properties in your neighborhood and construction costs. 


Water and Sewer Billing   

Direct Debit 

The Department of Finance offers electronic fund transfer (direct debit method) from your checking account to pay your water/sewer bills. You will receive a water/sewer bill each quarter showing current billing information. The bill will be marked "direct debit" and the payment will be deducted from your checking account on the bill's due date. Call Finance (410-313-2058) or click here for an application. 

Quarterly Water Bill 

The Department of Finance mails water bills on a quarterly basis. Please call Finance (410-313-2058) if you change your mailing address; water bills are not forwarded! 

Water Bill Accuracy 

Call Finance (410-313-2058) if you have a question about the accuracy of your water bill. 


Tax or Lien Certifications  

Individuals, lending institutions or title companies who need tax or lien certifications can get a form from Taxpayer Services, submit the completed form and $35 fee, and allow at least 48 hours for certification and approval. Call  Recordation Office (410-313-2389) for more information. 

Manual Certifications 

For manual certification: The customer must file their personal property tax return with State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT). SDAT will provide a printout of the manual certification. The customer delivers the manual certification to Howard County Department of Finance for tax computation and payment of taxes. Beginning July 1, 2009 the Howard County fee for this service is $35.00.