Baltimore City property tax bill errors were popping up in large amounts last week. Approximately 7,900 city residents received additional bills because of a computer issue, stating that their taxes were past due.
Many of those who received the erroneous additional property tax bill were newer Baltimore City homebuyers who bought their homes sometime between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010.
The mix up occurred partially due to the Homestead Tax Credit, which many homeowners collect, but new homeowners cannot until they have lived in the house for a year.
Jamie Smith-Hopkins reported in the Baltimore Sun:
New buyers can qualify for the credit after living in their homes for one full tax year. They can end up paying much higher taxes than the previous owner, especially if that owner lived in the home for a long time. But the increase doesn’t kick in until the new homeowner’s first July 1 in the property — because any taxes before that point are calculated based on the previous owner’s liability.
Here’s what went wrong: The Homestead credit amount for the last tax year was somehow erased from the property accounts for at least some of the more than 5,000 people who bought in the city during those months. Suddenly, it looked as if they’d underpaid.
City officials state that this week owners should receive a correct bill.
If you are a Baltimore City homeowner and received what you feel is an incorrect bill, you can check the Baltimore City Government’s website to find your correct amount due.