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In Maryland the valuation of all real and personal property for purposes of property taxation is a function of State government. The Director of Assessments and Taxation, appointed by the Governor, administers and enforces the property assessment and property tax laws of Maryland. This organizational structure allows for uniformity of property assessment throughout the State.
State Department of Assessments & Taxation (SDAT)
Welcome to our web site. We have a wealth of information available to help answer your questions and meet your needs for service and data. We have available on this site summaries of the programs that the Department administers, forms and brochures relating to those programs which you may print or download. You will find information on tax rates as reported to the Department by local governments. There is also information within this site on how to purchase SDAT data files.
We realize that your time is valuable. That's why virtually all of our services are available by Internet, phone, fax, or mail. You don't have to leave your home or office to get service. If you would like to visit one of our 24 local offices or headquarters office, we have addresses and phone numbers to help you get there.
Brochures explaining the real property assessment process and related matters, such as appeals and tax credit programs, business personal property assessments and business services are available at each local assessment office and from the Director's office in Baltimore.
Real Property Valuation
Real property is reassessed on a three-year cycle by reviewing one-third of all property in Maryland every year. The review includes an exterior physical inspection of the property. The Real Property Valuation Division participates in all appeals court proceedings where assessment questions are involved.
For each county and Baltimore City, the Director of Assessments and Taxation appoints a Supervisor of Assessments from a list of five qualified applicants submitted by the Mayor of Baltimore city, the County Commissioners, or under charter government, the County Council or the County Executive with the approval of the Council.
Assessments are certified by the Department to local governments where they are converted into property tax bills by applying the appropriate property tax rates. An assessment is based on an appraisal of the fair market value of the property. An appraisal is an estimate of value. There are three accepted approaches to market value: (1) the sales approach; (2) the cost approach; (3) the income approach. While differing in the method of calculation each approach is designed to indicate the property’s fair market value. The property tax is primarily a local government revenue. Counties and cities depend on the property tax and a portion of the income tax to make up their budgets.
Taxpayer Services Division
The Taxpayer Services' Corporate Charter/Charter Legal Review unit is custodian of documents relating to the organization and ownership of many types of business entities that are required to file documents with the State. These documents include charters for Maryland corporations and qualifications and registrations for foreign corporations. The unit is also the custodian of security interest (UCC) filings.
Charter Legal processes ground rent redemptions. Under this program homeowners can redeem the ground rents on their residencies where the ground rent holder can not be located. The unit also implemented a ground rent registration system where ground rent lease holders can register their ground rents with the State.
Taxpayer Services oversees the annual reassessment of operating property of railroads and public utilities and personal property of businesses. Property tax reports are filed with, and reviewed by, the Division annually. Thereafter, the values are certified to the subdivisions so that they may issue tax bills.
The Division administers franchise taxes applicable to the gross receipts of public service corporations.
This Division also administers the Enterprise Zone Property Tax Credit Program designed to promote economic development. It reimburses local subdivisions for one-half of the property tax credits granted to businesses which relocate or expand in certain designated geographic areas within the State.
The Division also administers three residential tax credit programs, the Homeowners' and Renters' Tax Credits, and the Homestead Property Tax Credit. Homeowners' and Renters' Property Tax Credit Programs provide more than $53 million in State-funded property tax credits to homeowners and renters who qualify based on an income test. The Homeowners' Program is available to all homeowners in Maryland, regardless of age, while the Renters' Program applies to renters aged 60 or over; the permanently disabled; and renters who are under age 60, with dependent children.
The Homestead Property Tax Credit was established to help homeowners deal with large assessment increases on their principal residence. Every county and municipality in Maryland is required to limit taxable assessment increases to 10% or less each year via the Homestead Credit program. To prevent improper granting of this credit on rented or multiple properties of a single owner, a law enacted in 2007 requires all homeowners to submit a one-time application to establish eligibility for the credit. The application form was included in the assessment notice mailed to one-third of the homeowners at the end of December for the three years beginning in 2007 and in a series of three special mailings to existing credit recipients not yet filing an application. The application is also mailed to new purchasers of residential property.
Office of Information Technology
This Division is responsible for producing and maintaining all of the Department's computer information systems. This includes responsibility for 25 local area networks, over 600 personal computers, an interactive telephone data system, and mainframe and LAN databases at 26 sites around the State. This Division also manages data flow to and from local governments and other State agencies.
Accessibility: This website has been designed with consideration to web assistive technology in compliance with the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 17.06.02.01-12. Some of the links in this website will cause new browser windows to open. The recommended browser is Microsoft Internet Explorer. View accessibility resources available the Maryland Technology Assistance Program web site www.mdod.maryland.gov/MTAP%20Home.aspx
Anti-Virus Security Statement: It is the policy of the Information Technology division of the Department of Assessments and Taxation to utilize the highest level of anti-virus protection possible to provide a secure environment for the exchange of information and ideas. Although no protection is absolutely foolproof, the Department employs state of the art software to protect its networks from infection by viruses from Internet downloads or incoming e-mails. This protection is also designed to prevent the passing through of viruses from the Department’s e-mail system to outside recipients. Our detection software is updated on a daily basis with the latest virus signature files. Attachments with specific extensions are prohibited from being received into our e-mail system. The Department also receives security alerts from the State security office. These alerts are immediately reviewed and the appropriate actions are initiated.
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