Real Property FAQ

What is the City’s real property tax rate?

The City’s real property tax rate for fiscal year 2018 (July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018) is $2.248 per $100 of assessed value, the same as the prior fiscal year’s rate.

Does the City offer discounts if I pay my property taxes early?

Yes, there is a 0.5% discount of the City Tax if the bill is paid by July 31.

What are my options if I cannot afford to pay my property tax bill?

The City does not enter into payment agreements for real estate taxes. The City accepts partial payments that will be credited to your tax bill, but your bill must be paid in full before December 31 of the year the bill was issued. If your bill is not paid in full, your property is at risk for inclusion in the tax sale in May of the following year. For more information on the City’s tax sale process, go to Visit the Bid Baltimore Website and click on the “FAQ” button.

Is there an appeal process if my property assessment too high?

Yes. You can visit the State Department of Assessments and Taxation website for information regarding the appeal process at online or contact them at 410-767-8250.

What do I do if I overpaid my property taxes by accident?

Send a written request to the Revenue Accounting Section, 200 Holliday Street, Room 3, Baltimore, MD 21202. Make sure to include on your request your account number, proof of payment, and if you prefer to receive a refund check or would like the funds transferred to another account. If you would like the funds transferred to another account, make sure to include the type of account and account number where the funds are to be directed.

My realtor indicated that I could be eligible for a property tax credit but I am not sure what to do.

You can begin by visiting the City's tax incentives page for a comprehensive listing of credits for which you may be eligible. Information and applications are on the website. You should also contact the State Department of Assessments and Taxation at 410.767.8250 or at online to obtain applications of State credits for which you may be eligible.

What property assistance or incentives are available to first time home buyers?

The City does not offer any tax incentives specifically for first time home buyers but a comprehensive list of all City property tax credits can be found on the tax credit section A valuable resource for new buyers in Baltimore is the Live Baltimore Home Center located at 343 N. Charles with additional information available on their website.

How do I know if I am receiving the homestead tax credit?

You can review your real property tax bill online. Once you have entered either the block/lot, property address, or owner’s name you will be able to view your tax bill. If you are receiving the homestead tax credit, you will see both the “state assessment credit” and the “city assessment credit” located on the left side of your bill with amounts (credits) that have been deducted from your net tax amount. For any questions related to your real property tax bill, contact the City’s Collections Call Center at 410-396-3987.

What is the homestead tax credit?

The homestead tax credit program was designed to limit the amount of the annual increase in taxable assessments for eligible owner occupied properties. The program dates back to the late 1970’s, a period of rapid escalation in property values. State law requires each Maryland local government to establish a limit on how much owner occupied residential taxable assessments may increase each year. The program protects homeowners from increases in taxable assessment above the level established by local law, or 10%, if no local action is taken. In the early 1990’s, the City established the annual cap at 4% and it continues to be set at 4% today. The credit is applied against the taxes due on the portion of the reassessment exceeding the 4% homestead cap. The credit is applied directly to the property owner’s tax bill.

Do I need to notify the City if I am renting out a room in my home but I still live in the house?

The Baltimore City Code, Article 13, Subtitle 5-4, requires that property with more than two (2) dwelling units or two (2) rooming units, or any combination thereof be licensed as a multiple family dwelling. The license is required even if one or more of the dwelling or rooming units are owner occupied. Single Family Dwellings are allowed up to two (2) roomers as long as a common entrance and cooking facilities are shared with the owner and you do NOT have to notify the registration office if this applies to you. You can contact the registration office by calling 410-396-3575 or you can get more information and registration forms online by selecting “property registration". Also, the owner must notify the State Department of Assessment and Taxation (SDAT) at 410-767-8250 about any change in their owner-occupancy status as it may affect their eligibility for the Homestead Tax Credit.

How do I change my mailing address for my real property tax bills and any other bills?

You should send a written request to the City’s Department of General Services Property Location Section, 200 Holliday Street Room 204, Baltimore, MD 21202 or fax to 410-576-8310. Be sure to include the address or block & lot of the property in question, new mailing address, the effective date, and the signature of the property owner. To contact the Property Location Section, you may call them at 410-396-3800.

What is semi-annual billing and how do I sign-up for it?

Semi-annual billing is applicable to owner occupied principal residence properties only and allows you to pay your property taxes in two installments. The first installment is due in July and becomes delinquent in October. The second installment is billed December 1 and will become past due on January 1. A service fee will be added to the second installment bill. If you are eligible for semi-annual billing but are not receiving it, please contact the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) at 410.767.8258 to inquire if your billing status is set as a principal residence. You can also check your property online to see if your property is listed as a principal residence. 

Do I need to pay my property taxes if I have a mortgage or does the mortgage company pay it for me? 

This is a personal decision. If you are unsure as to whether or not your mortgage company has set up an escrow account for your real estate taxes, you should call your mortgage company to confirm.