County Commissioners Approve Senior Property Tax Credit Proposal
(11/23) The Frederick Board of County Commissioners today voted unanimously to take to public hearing a proposed real property senior tax credit of 20 percent of net county taxes (up to zero) for homeowners age
65 or more who qualify for the state Homeowner Tax Credit Program, with an income limit of $60,000. All other qualifications and limitations of the State Homeowner Tax Credit Program would apply. The senior tax credit would enhance the current
county supplement program.
At the request of the Commission on Aging, the board agreed in August to enact a Frederick County tax credit program for seniors with lower incomes. A working group composed of Mayor Carroll Jones of the City of
Brunswick, Dr. Jim Gilford, Bob Wannemacher and Blanche King, along with staff from the Finance Division, Department of Aging, County Attorney’s Office and others, presented the recommendations.
Board President Blaine Young commented, "We are pleased to take this senior citizen tax credit program -- originally proposed by former County Commissioner Bruce Reeder -- to a public hearing for further feedback.
Our goal is to create an environment so our seniors and all residents can afford to live and reside in Frederick County with dignity. We have heard many times from residents, especially seniors, that they are being taxed out of the county and state.
At the Senior Forum last year sponsored by the Commission on Aging, this issue was one of the major concerns.
"Frederick County seniors continue to be adversely affected by current economic conditions. Our thanks go to the group of officials, seniors and county staff who brought this proposal forward. The tax credit is one
more way to assist our seniors who are already stretched with the costs of living, health care, rising food expenses, utilities and property taxes."
In 2006, the Maryland General Assembly passed House Bill 288 authorizing the Frederick Board of County Commissioners to give the tax credit to seniors over the age of 70 with limited incomes. In 2009, the legislature
reduced the eligibility age to 65 and over.
Several Maryland counties have implemented the tax credit, including: Anne Arundel, Caroline, Carroll and Montgomery.
Currently, a homeowner can apply for a Homeowner Tax Credit with the State of Maryland to find financial assistance with his or her real estate taxes. This tax credit is income based, with a $60,000 annual income
limit and a $200,000 net worth limit. This net worth limit does not include the primary residence. The homeowner must live in the property at least six months out of the year and it must be their primary residence. The program provides a credit on
the taxes that result from the first $300,000 of assessed value and there is no age criterion.
For a copy of the state’s instructions for the Homeowner Tax Credit program, visit www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/htc.html.
Frederick County offers a supplement to the State Homeowner Tax Credit. The county supplement has no income ceiling, but follows the net worth limitation and assessed value cap of the state credit. The supplemental
tax credit is based upon the amount by which the property taxes exceed a percentage of income according to the following formula: 0 percent of the first $9,000, 5 percent of the next $1,000, 2.5 percent of the next $2,000, 5 percent of the next
$4,000, 7.5 percent of the next $28,000 and 10 percent of any combined gross income over $44,000.
For a copy of county ordinance 1-8-65 describing the local supplement to the Homeowner Property Tax Credit, visit www.frederickcountymd.gov
For additional information, contact Director Carolyn True, Department of Aging, at 301-600-1605 or via e-mail at ctrue@FrederickCountyMD.gov.