Taxes


What are the major County Tax Rates in FY 2020?

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.

  • County Property Tax rate has remained unchanged since 2006, at $1.014 per $100 of assessed valuation for real property and $2.535 per $100 of assessed valuation for eligible business personal property (e.g. business equipment).
  • County Personal Income Tax rate has remained unchanged since 2004 at 3.2% of the Maryland Net Taxable Income, which is the highest allowed by the State.
  • County Recordation Tax rate remains unchanged since 1997 at $2.50 for each $500 of value when property is sold and title recorded.
  • County Fire and Rescue Tax rate was increased in FY 2020 from $0.176 to $0.235 per $100 assessed valuation for real property and from $0.44 to $0.59 for eligible business personal property. This tax is designated to fire and rescue services in the Fire and Rescue Fund.
  • County Transfer Tax rate has been at 1% of the value of the property being transferred for more than two decades. This revenue is dedicated primarily to capital/infrastructure projects and cannot be used for other purposes. Funds are allocated as follows: 25% for school infrastructure projects, 25% for park construction and development, 25% for agricultural land preservation, 12.5% for fire and rescue service projects, and 12.5% for housing and community development programs.

When will my property be re-assessed?

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.


How does the County assess my property?

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.


Budget


What is the difference between the operating budget and the capital budget?

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).


What is the difference between the General Fund and Restricted Funds?

The Gen