Property and Income taxes account for 90% of total revenues in the General Fund, which supports most services in the County, including the school system, community college, the library system, and all County agencies. Some taxes, such as the transfer and fire tax, are primarily designated to restricted funds with specific purposes.
Area #2 is currently being re-assessed in calendar 2020. Area #3 will be re-assessed in calendar 2021, followed by Area #1 in calendar 2022. For more information about Assessment Districts, see the Department of Assessments & Taxation website.
The County does not perform assessments. All assessments are performed by the Maryland Department of Assessment & Taxation. The County uses the State assessment data for property tax billing purposes.
The operating budget provides funding and appropriation for the day-to-day operation of all County public services provided to residents and businesses. This includes: annual County appropriation to education entities including Howard County Public School System (HCPSSS); funding to County employee salaries and benefits, contractual services, and supplies and equipment for providing various daily services; and principal and interest payments for existing and new loans borrowed to finance public infrastructure (capital projects).
The capital budget provides funding and appropriation for the construction or acquisition of physical assets and covers many different projects, from construction of schools and libraries and roads to renovations of recreation centers and bridges. Capital projects are primarily funded through issuing debt, typically 20-year General Obligation bonds, with annual principal and interest payments paid from the operating budget (similar to a home mortgage).