Real Property Taxes are billed by Howard County on an annual basis on July 1 although many taxpayers have the option of semi-annual payments. Many types of Property Tax Credits are offered to assist taxpayers. Failure to pay taxes can result in Tax Sale.

Frequently Asked Questions

Enroll Now to Receive Email and Text Notifications for Your County Tax Bill

Real Property Tax

Escrow Check


Govolution Convenience Fees

Govolution charges a convenience fee of $1.50 for e-check transactions, $3.95 for VISA Consumer Debit transactions, 2.45% for all other debit and credit card transactions for payments of Real Property Taxes. These are automatically added during your transaction.

Due to bank and credit card processing times, please allow 3-5 business days for your transaction to process.

Real Property Fee Disclaimer

Payment by credit card does not give Howard County Government access to your credit card number. That information is retained strictly by Govolution. Govolution takes full advantage of internet security in the handling of your credit card information.

Real Property Tax Information Guide & Questions


Tax Rate Schedule


The real property tax rate, which is set each year by the County Council, is applied to the assessed value of the property. Real property tax is levied annually on all taxable land and improvements.


Tax Rate Schedule Effective July 1, 2024

Levy Type Rate per $100 Assessment
County Tax $1.044
State Tax $0.112
Fire Tax $0.2060
Ad Valorem $0.08

Types of Taxes Billed


General County Real Property Tax:

This tax is levied on all property in the County and funds, in part, such basic services as education, public safety, public works, and community services.

State Real Property Tax:

This tax is levied by the State of Maryland, but collected by Howard County and is used for the payment of principal and interest on State bonds.

Fire Tax:

This tax is collected countywide and supports all fire and emergency response operations.

Trash Fees:

The annual fee for the collection and disposal of residential trash is $391 for those households receiving trash, recycling and yard services, $376 for those households receiving trash and recycling services only and $55 for those households receiving recycling service only.

Ad Valorem Charges:

An ad valorem charge is levied on real property located within the Metropolitan District. Ad valorem charges are primarily used to fund the cost of new construction and/or replacement of the water and sewer system's infrastructure and may be used for operation costs as well.

Front Foot Charge:

All owners of properties located on a street, road, lane, alley or right-of-way in which a water or sewer main exists, pay an annual front foot benefit assessment charge.

State Bay Restoration Fee:

The Maryland State Government enacted the State Bay Restoration Fund in 2004. Howard County is required to bill users of private septic systems a fee of $15.00 per quarter for a single residential dwelling. For additional information please visit the Maryland Department of the Environment web site at www.mde.state.md.us.

Watershed Protection Fee:

This fee provides funding for County storm water projects mandated by the federal government to treat impervious surfaces. For more information visit CleanWaterHoward.com.


When Taxes Are Due


All taxpayers living in their principal residence may pay their real property tax bills on a semi-annual basis, unless they opt out of the semi-annual schedule by making an annual payment, on or before September 30th. Taxpayers who are principal residents will receive tax bills which will reflect both payment options. Taxpayers who escrow their tax payments may choose to pay annually, but must notify their lenders by May 1st of their intent to pay annually.

Starting July 1, 2012, real property tax on small business commercial property can be paid on a semi-annual basis. To qualify for semi-annual payments, the total of county taxes, state taxes and special taxing district taxes must not exceed $100,000.

  • Annual bills and the first installments of semiannual bills are due on or before September 30th and become delinquent on October 1st.
  • Howard County allows a ½ percent discount on the General County Real Property Tax paid in the month of July.
  • The second semiannual installment is due on or before December 31st and becomes delinquent January 1st.
  • Delinquent taxes are subject to interest and penalty at the rate of 1.5% per month on all County taxes and fees and 1.0% on State taxes.
  • Interest and penalties are applied to the amount levied net of any credits.

Taxpayers who remain delinquent as of March 1st of each year will receive a final legal notice. Additional penalties are imposed as of April1st of each year and payments made as of this date going forward must be in the form of cash, certified check, or credit card. Delinquent taxes may also result in the sale of a property tax lien through public Tax Sale.


How to Pay Taxes


Taxpayers have several options for paying their property taxes.

  • Taxpayers can arrange to have their taxes paid by their mortgage company from an escrow account.
  • Taxpayers should mail their check or money order made payable to Director of Finance along with their payment coupon, if available, to Howard County Maryland, PO Box 37237, Baltimore, MD 21297-3237.
  • If taxpayers do not have a payment coupon, they can pay by check or money order made payable to Director of Finance mailed to Howard County Maryland, PO Box 3370, Ellicott City MD 21041-3370.
  • For a fee taxpayers can pay by credit card (VISA, Master Card, American Express, or Discover) or e-check on line.
  • Taxpayers can pay in person at the Department of Finance, Cashier’s Office on the 1st Floor, 3430 Courthouse Dr, Ellicott City, MD. The office is open Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM except for Howard County Government holidays. Payments in person can be made by cash, check, or money order. Map & Directions
  • Taxpayers can also use the drop box located to the left of the doors at 3430 Courthouse Drive to deposit their payments. Payment left in the drop box should be in the form of check or money order. Drop box payments will be processed effective the next County business day.

Convenience Fee

Payments made by credit card or e-check are assessed a convenience fee. This fee is levied by the Credit Card processor and cannot be waived by Howard County.

Payments made via the website are charged with a convenience fee that varies with the amount of the charges. See payment website for exact convenience fee for your payment amount.


Mortgage Information


All taxpayers in Howard County receive an original tax bill and are responsible for ensuring that their taxes are paid on time. Howard County also provides a full listing of taxes due on all properties in the County to mortgage companies who request it. These mortgage companies will match the properties for which they hold escrow accounts and make payment to the County. These payments are made effective July 31st (1st installment semi-annual and annual) and December 31st (2nd installment semi-annual), but may not be posted until the beginning of the following months, based upon their high volume. Taxpayers will not be charged interest in these cases.

Property owners may wish to contact their lender to ensure that the lender retrieved the tax bill and has included that bill in the payment process. If the lender does not have the correct billing information, you should forward a copy of your bill to your lender.


If you are refinancing your mortgage around the due dates for property taxes, you should make certain that the taxes are not paid by both lenders or by the lender and the title company at settlement. Be sure to notify the old mortgage company well in advance of settlement that you are closing the escrow account and advise them not to make payment if payment will be made at settlement.


State Assessments


The State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) determines the taxable assessment of your real property. The taxable assessment equals the full cash value, as determined by the Assessor’s Office. It is important to verify any assessment notices received from SDAT for accuracy. Assessments may be appealed.

Online assessment information is available at SDAT.

Property owners requiring more precise details about an assessment, or the appeal process, should call SDAT's local office at 410-480-7940 or email sdat.how@maryland.gov, SDAT's main line at 410-767-1184 or email sdat.411@maryland.gov, or visit SDAT's website at https://dat.maryland.gov.


Change of Address


In Maryland, SDAT is the official central file of all addresses relative to State and County taxes. If you wish to change your address, you must notify SDAT. We have provided a Change of Address Form for your convenience. Please mail the form to:

Supervisor of Assessments and Taxation

Howard County Office
District Court Multi-Service Center
3451 Courthouse Drive
Ellicott City MD 21043

Stay Connected!

Sign up for the County Executive's weekly newsletter and stay up to date on everything Howard County.

Zip Code