Personal Property Tax

Personal Property Tax

Incorporated and unincorporated businesses are charged a tax for furniture, fixtures, and equipment utilized in the operation of a business. Property is assessed by the State Department of Assessment and Taxation (SDAT) and forwarded to the County for billing. Most businesses must file a personal property tax return each year. If you are unsure whether you are required to file, please contact SDAT at 410-767-1170.

Forms and online filing of returns are available on the SDAT Website.

The SDAT determines the taxable assessment (assessed value) of your personal property based on the original cost less an annual depreciation allowance. It is important to verify any assessment notices received from SDAT for accuracy.

Personal Property tax bills are mailed throughout the taxable year (July – June), depending on when personal property tax returns were filed by a business. A bill mailed in July that is paid prior to August 1st receives a ½% discount on the County Tax. Personal Property taxes billed in July, August, or September are due September 30th. Personal Property taxes billed in any other month are due by the last day of the month. For any taxable year, the taxes billed are based on personal property located in Howard County as of January 1 of that same year.

Tax Rates

Tax Rates are set by the County Council each fiscal year. The rates are based on $100 of assessed value (taxable assessment). Taxes are calculated by dividing the taxable assessment by $100 and then multiplying by the Tax Rates.

Levy Type            Rate per $100 assessment 
County Tax           $2.535 
Fire Tax-Metro            $0.44 

Assessment Questions

Questions regarding the personal property tax return, your assessment, business closings, and other related issues should be addressed to SDAT at 410-767-1170.

Questions regarding tax rates, due dates, interest charges, and payments should be addressed to Howard County Taxpayer Services at 410-313-0796 or email us

What happens if I do not file?

Personal Property Tax Returns are due to the SDAT by April 15th each year. Extensions of the filing deadline up to 60 days can be granted if the requests are made on or before April 15th. Visit SDAT to file an extension.

A business which files an annual return after the due date of April 15 (June 15 for those with approved extensions), will be assessed penalties by the State of Maryland. Businesses which do not file a return are subject to an estimated assessment of up to twice the estimated value of the personal property owned.

What happens if I do not pay?

Delinquent taxes are subject to interest and penalty at the rate of 1.5% per month on all County taxes. Personal property taxes that are more than 90 days delinquent are turned over to the County Office of Law for collection. Howard County will pursue all legal means to collect taxes due. Business licenses will not be renewed for any business that fails to pay its Personal Property tax.

Business Licenses

Businesses which sell goods or merchandise within Howard County must obtain a business license from the Clerk of the Court. The Clerk of the Court can be reached at 410-313-2111.

Heavy Equipment Rental Gross Receipts Tax

Communities in Howard County

Often large corporations with sites in various states and counties, need to find out which of their business units are represented by the tax bill they have received. In an effort to make that process a little easier, the following are communities within Howard County:

Annapolis Junction                               Brookeville                                    Clarksville 
Columbia                              Cooksville                                   Dayton
Elkridge                              Ellicott City                                    Fulton 
Glenelg                               Glenwood                                    Hanover 
Highland                               Jessup                                    Laurel 
Lisbon                              Marriottsville                                    Savage 
Sykesville                              West Friendship                                    Woodbine