The County holds an annual Tax Sale in May each year. Tax lien certificates for properties with delinquent taxes, water and sewer bills or other liens will be auctioned to the highest bidder. On or about March 1, the County will send tax sale notices to all property owners with delinquent bills and advertise the delinquent properties in the Howard County Times / Columbia Flier for at least four weeks prior to the sale.
Participation in the Howard County Tax Sale may result in the immediate purchase of a “tax lien,” but not an actual property; therefore, discretion is encouraged. There may be tax liens pertaining to property sold for which taxes were paid prior to the sale date or other circumstances which render the sale invalid or void.
Tax Sale Registration
The 2023 Tax Sale has concluded.
The procedure for redemption of properties sold at tax sale is governed by state law set forth in Title 14, Subtitle 8 of the Tax-Property Article of the Maryland Annotated Code. The County does not provide legal advice to either the tax sale purchaser or the property owner on their respective rights under the law. Instead, you should either consult the state law or obtain independent legal advice on your rights and responsibilities under the law. No information on our website is intended to constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon in determining your rights.
2023 Tax Sale Information and FAQs
Tax Sale Proceeds
Tax Sale Surplus and Excess Funds
Effective Date: March 2023
Tax sale surplus and excess funds information is provided as a convenience. If you are a third-party providing a service in an attempt to obtain these funds, all claims must be filed through the Circuit Court for Howard County for adjudication. The county will not disperse funds to any third party without a signed Order of Court. Do not contact the County for claim filing information or an explanation of the data provided. It is your responsibility to do your own due diligence and seek any necessary legal counsel before proceeding with initiating any claims for surplus or excess funds.
Tax Sale Over-the-Counter
These properties are offered for sale “AS IS”, at the risk of the purchasers and neither the County nor any other party makes warranties or representations whatsoever either expressed or implied, of any kind, with respect to the properties or the title thereto. In the event a tax sale certificate is issued and then voided by the Director of Finance through no fault of the buyer only a refund of amounts actually paid on the day of sale shall be made and shall be the Director of Finance’s sole liability and limit thereon. Properties are listed and sold based upon information provided by the State Department of Assessments and Taxation, which is in no way represented to be accurate or correct. The sale, the premises, and the properties are, to the extent provided by law, subject to any and all title defects, claims, liens, encumbrances, covenants, conditions, restrictions, easements, right-of-way and matters of records. In the event of a mistake, defective title, description or non-existence of property, no refund shall be given. Bidders shall be well-versed in the law regarding tax sales and should investigate the properties and title hereto prior to Purchase or bid. No legal advice shall be given by the County Attorney, Treasurer, or staff.