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Montgomery County Department of Finance

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for "Tax Facts and Information"

How often is the Treasury website updated?

The Treasury website is updated daily, Monday through Friday.

Contact Us:

Treasury is a division of the Montgomery County Department of Finance.
The main numbers for Treasury are

Office Phone Number
Treasury 240-777-8930
Real Estate, Personal, and Tax Lien Sale Tax Office (automated line) 240-777-8950
Transfer and Recordation Office 240-777-8995
Cashier Office 240-777-8960
Treasury Fax numbers 240-777-8947
240-777-8954

For the Hearing Impaired, please use the Maryland Relay Service.

Treasury utilizes the A T & T Language Line to assist customers of various nationalities.

Where is Treasury located?

Treasury is located at 255 Rockville Pike in Suite L-15

View map

Directions

What are the hours of operation?

The Treasury is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, with the exception of County, State and Federal holidays. You may also call us during those hours at (240) 777-8930.

What is the mailing address for Treasury?

Treasury DivisionMontgomery County
255 Rockville Pike
Suite L-15
Rockville, MD 20850

I am having trouble getting through to an operator. What can I do?

From about the end of July until the end of September, the County's telephone line (240) 777-8950 can be very busy. To accommodate the number of telephone calls, the system holds calls and transfers them, in turn, to an operator. Operators are available to answer questions between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 pm. Automated tax information is available 24 hours a day and on weekends.

Please be patient and your call will be answered as soon as possible. You may also access the MC311 portal to place a service request or to find an answer.

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PRIVACY & THE COUNTY'S INTERNET WEBSITE

I don't want others to see my tax bill. Is that possible?

The Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) at State Government Article, Section 10-601 et. seq. of the Maryland Annotated Code, provides that all public records are open to inspection. Tax records and related recording information contained in the County tax system which is available on the County internet site are public records made and received in connection with the transaction of public business.

All County public records are subject to inspection by any person unless the records are privileged or confidential by laws or exempted from the MPIA. There is no law which declares these records to be privileged or confidential and there is no exemption for these records under the MPIA.

What is the Division of Treasury and what is its relationship to the State of Maryland?

One of the primary objectives of the Division of Treasury (a division within the County government's Department of Finance) is to collect property taxes on behalf of the State, County and local municipalities. The State assesses all property in Maryland and maintains the database for real property tax accounts.

What is the difference between Real Property and Personal Property?

Real Property is assessed on the physical (land) and/or improved (dwelling) components of the property.

Personal Property is assessed on the assets and inventory of a company or business and is based on the company/business income tax return that is filed with the State Of Maryland.

ASSESSMENTS AND TAX RATES

All real property (real estate) in Montgomery County is subject to taxation, except that which is specifically exempt. Each property is assessed every three years by the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT). Should you wish to discuss your assessment in more detail, or have a question regarding the assessment appeals process, please call SDAT at (240) 314-4510 or visit their website at www.dat.state.md.us

I appealed my assessment but my taxes are due, what should I do?

Obligation to pay taxes is not stayed or suspended pending an appeal from the assessment.

What if I have paid my taxes and then the assessment is lowered? How do I get a refund?

On the final determination of an appeal, any money paid by a taxpayer that exceeds the amount properly chargeable under the determination shall be refunded at the same rate of interest that the taxes would have borne if the taxes were determined to be overdue. That rate is 8%.

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How are my real property taxes calculated?

Real property tax is calculated by multiplying the tax rate (per $100) by the property's assessed value. The tax rate is set each year by the County Council.

The tax rate schedule is available on the web. To use the rate schedule, locate the tax rate on the tax bill, (for example, R42), then go to the schedule and match the number with the tax class line on the schedule. Read across the line to view which taxes apply to that property.

What is the taxable levy year?

The tax year covers the period from July 1st to June 30th. This represents the tax levy year. In Montgomery County, this same period is also designated as the County's fiscal year.

What Municipalities have their taxes collected by Montgomery County?

Montgomery County government collects taxes for the following twenty-two (22) municipalities:

City of Rockville
City of Gaithersburg
Friendship Heights
Drummond
Oakmont
Section #3, Village of Chevy Chase
Town of Chevy Chase
Section #5, Village of Chevy Chase
Village of Martin’s Additions
North Chevy Chase
Chevy Chase View
Battery Park
Town of Barnesville
Town of Laytonsville
Town of Poolesville
Town of Garrett Park
Town of Glen Echo
Town of Somerset
Town of Brookeville
Town of Washington Grove
Town of Kensington
City of Takoma Park

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The "look" of the printed tax bill.

The tax bill indicates on the front if there are any outstanding or unpaid prior year tax bills. If the lien on the property has already been sold at tax sale, a note will be on the bill advising that there is a tax lien on the account.

Only the annual printed bill will show WSSC Remaining. Bills printed "in house" will not show this note. The WSSC remaining shows the unpaid amount pertaining to the construction of the water and sewer lines leading to your property. For more information about this notation on the bill, contact WSSC at 301-206-8126.

If a lenders name is named in the Mortgage Information Box on the front of the tax bill, then you will notice a watermark diagonally across the tax bill that says Taxpayer Information. This indicates that your mortgage lender has requested payment information from the County in order to make the tax payment from your escrow account. NOTE: This does not mean they will be making the payment.

When are the tax bills mailed?

Annual & semi-annual tax bills are mailed to all homeowners in July of each year. The tax bills are also posted to the website by July 1st.

Why is there only one return envelope in the tax bill?

Even if you are on a semi-annual payment schedule requiring that you make two separate payments, only one envelope is provided due to the cost of mailing the tax bills. Please do not use this envelope for any other than the intended purpose.

What if I didn’t receive a tax bill?

Bills are mailed to all taxpayers in July. If you have not received your bill, please check the website. Chances are that you may have forgotten to notify the State Assessment office of your change of address and the tax bill was returned to us.

Please note that failure to receive a tax bill does not relieve taxpayers of their obligation to pay the tax bill.

Do you send a bill for the second installment?

No, the County does not send a new tax bill for the second installment. The original tax bill has two coupons, one for each installment.

Is a delinquent notice sent?

Delinquent notices are the Tax Lien Sale notification bills, which are sent in April. This bill shows the amount that is due depending on which month (April, May, June) the payment is made. This notice also advises the taxpayer of the consequence if the bill remains unpaid (i.e., a tax lien for the property will be sold at the tax lien sale in June)

When are tax payments due?

Annual tax bills are due September 30th.
First semi-annual installments are due September 30th.
Second semi-annual installments are due December 31st
Supplemental and revised tax bills are due 30 days from the time of issue.

Pursuant to Maryland Law, tax payments must be made on or before the due date to avoid interest and penalty charges. Since postmarking only indicates when a payment was mailed and not actually made, Postmarks are not accepted.

The following is a recommendation to taxpayers to ensure that payments are received and credited to your property tax account on time. For payments sent by regular mail, please allow 5-7 business days for the payment to reach the office by the due date. All payments received at the bank's processing facility (P.O. Box 9418 in Gaithersburg), will be processed using the day they are received. There may be a delay of up to five days in crediting an account if the payment is not sent in the proper form or is addressed to an incorrect location other than the address listed on the return envelope (also listed on back of the payment coupon). Please note that, generally, payments mailed by a courier or express mail to a P.O. Box cannot be delivered. Business days of the bank are Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays.

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ADDITIONAL TAX BILLS:

I have already paid my taxes. Why am I getting another tax bill?

If you received another bill, it is most likely because there has been an adjustment to your account. These adjustments could be for tax credits, increased assessments, abatements, or other changes which result in either a supplemental tax bill or a revised tax bill.

Supplemental tax bills:

In the case of new homes, most often the developer pays the land bill only (i.e., the unimproved portion of your property), since the State Assessment office may not have yet assessed the dwelling (i.e., your home or the improvement portion of your property). In these cases there is a supplemental bill. Supplemental bills are based on when the State assesses the dwelling. The supplemental bills will be in the form of a:

3/4 year bill: covers the period October 1st June 30th
1/2 year bill: covers the period January 1st June 30th
1/4 year bill: covers the period April 1st June 30th

These supplemental tax bills are mailed only to the homeowner (these bills are not sent the lender) and are due within 30 days. If the homeowner escrows their taxes and would like the lender to pay a supplemental bill, the homeowner must send the tax bill to the lender.

After the State Assessment office makes an adjustment to an assessment, the homeowner will receive a revised tax bill that reflects those changes (these bills are not sent to the lender). If the homeowner escrows their taxes and would like the lender to pay a revised bill, the homeowner must send the tax bill to the lender.

Do I qualify for the semi-annual tax payment plan, and if so, how do I sign-up? Will I benefit from paying my taxes semi-annually?

Effective July 1st, 2000, a semi-annual tax payment schedule became mandatory for all owner-occupied residential property owners in the State of Maryland. Taxpayers may opt to pay annually, but they must notify their lender prior to May 1st of their intention. The County and the mortgage lenders will assume that taxes are being paid semi-annually unless the taxpayer notifies their mortgage lender that they want to pay annually. You do not need to notify the County; the County will accept either an annual or semi-annual payment.

Semi-annual tax payments are due in two installments; the first on September 30th and the second on December 31st. While there is no service charge associated with the semi-annual program, if a semi-annual payment becomes delinquent, interest and penalty charges are calculated on the amount of the delinquent payment beginning the day after it was due (e.g., if first installment payment was not made by September 30th, interest and penalties will accrue starting October 1st).

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Is there a discount for paying early?

No, there is no discount for paying early.

Can I prepay my taxes for next year?

No. Since each levy year has its own tax bill, and tax bills are not prepared until July of the year in which they are due, payments cannot be made and posted to your account prior to that date.

How can I pay my taxes?

(Please do not put any correspondence in with your payment)

Accepted forms of payment (please read the options below—the forms of payment allowable are different for each option):

Cash, Personal Check, Certified Check, Cashier's Check, Money Order, Debit Card, Credit Card, Bank Bill Pay, County's Electronic Check.

Express mail address:

Montgomery County Treasury
255 Rockville Pike, Suite L-15
Rockville, MD 20850
(Phone 240-777-8930)

(1) To pay Online:

By Electronic Check

There is no fee for using this feature, which allows you to schedule the amount and the date you wish to pay from your checking account. Please note, if your electronic check is returned for insufficient funds, wrong account or bank routing numbers, your account will be charged a $35 returned check fee.

By Credit Card or Bank Debit Card

Montgomery County has partnered with Official Payments Corporation (OPC) to facilitate automated credit card payments by phone and through our internet website. OPC assesses a convenience fee each time the service is used. Payments by credit and check cashing cards are assessed a convenience fee of approximately 2.5% of the property tax payment amount. Montgomery County receives no money from this convenience fee.

If you encounter problems with your OPC transaction, please contact OPC customer service at 1-800-487-4567 (Pacific Standard Time).

(2) To pay by mail:

Montgomery County Maryland
PO Box 9418
Gaithersburg, MD 20898

(3) To pay by telephone, call 1-888-255-0029.

Montgomery County has partnered with Official Payments Corporation (OPC) to facilitate automated credit card payments by phone and online. OPC assesses a convenience fee each time the service is used. Payments may be made by credit and check cashing cards and are assessed a convenience fee of approximately 2.5% of the property tax payment amount. Montgomery County receives no money from this convenience fee.  This is an automated system so you will need a touch tone phone. If you encounter problems with your OPC transaction, please contact OPC customer service at 1-800-487-4567 (Pacific Standard Time).

(4) To pay in person:

Payments to the County may be made at the Treasury cashier office located at 255 Rockville Pike, Suite L-15 in Rockville. Hours of operation are 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday).

Accepted forms of payment are: Cash, Checks, Money Orders, and Discover Credit Card (there is a convenience fee for the Discover Card when paying in person).  

Payment Amount Discover Card Fee
$0.00 to $500.00 $  5.00
$500.01 to $1,000.00 $12.00
$1,000.01 to $2,000.00 $24.00
$2,000.01 to $3,000.00 $38.00
$3,000.01 or more $48.00

For Lenders there is a Lender Mass Payment Option:

Lenders, if you are interested in the Mass Payment Process, please contact our billing office at 240-777-8933.

Please note: Montgomery County is now using CheckAGAIN services to facilitate your tax payments. If your check is returned unpaid, your account will be debited electronically or via paper draft for the full amount of the check and the State's maximum allowable service fee (in Maryland the fee is $35). Payment by check constitutes authorization of these transactions. You may revoke authorization by paying any outstanding checks and service fees due, by calling 1-800-666-5222, and selecting option 2, the Customer Service option.

What if I realize later that I don't have funds to cover this check?

To protect you from the risk of overpaying, we ask that you not attempt to make payment to Montgomery County in person. Please make sure that sufficient funds are available in your checking accounts as soon as possible, and CheckAGAIN will automatically clear up your misunderstanding.

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Why is there a convenience fee?

The credit card service charge is not a tax but the merchant discount and processing fee charged by the bank and the credit card processor. The County does not keep any of the service charges; it is passed entirely on to third parties. While the County would like to offer credit card payments free of charge, the County cannot charge all taxpayers for credit card use by a few individual taxpayers. Hence, only the individual using the card is charged. As you may be aware, there have always been costs associated with using credit cards. For most businesses, these costs are included in the price of the goods sold.

How do I get a receipt for my tax payment?

Your receipt is your cancelled check, your bank or credit card statement, or your validated receipt from the cashier (if you paid in person). You may also use a copy of your tax bill which shows a zero balance.

INTEREST & PENALTY

What if my taxes are not paid on time?

Annual tax bills and the first installment of semi-annual bills are due on or before September 30th and become delinquent on October 1st. The second semi-annual installment is due December 31st and becomes delinquent January 1st. Delinquent tax bills are subject to interest and penalty at the rate of 1 2/3% (1.667 per month on the unpaid balance) per month until paid in full. The total late charge is 20% annually as set by Resolution following County Council action, and which is composed of 8% interest and 12% penalty. Interest and penalty are calculated on the net amount of the bill, after any credits are applied. Delinquent taxes will result in the sale of the property tax lien through a public tax lien sale on the second Monday in June of the subsequent calendar year. Taxpayers receive a delinquency or tax lien sale notice in April. Accounts eligible for the tax lien sale are listed for four consecutive weeks preceding the tax lien sale in a Montgomery County newspaper and are subject to a $50 advertising fee. Property tax accounts taken to tax lien sale may be subject to additional legal costs that are incurred by the new tax lien certificate holder.

Can I appeal the interest and penalty charges?

The payment due dates are pursuant to Maryland State Law, which also determines how the interest and penalty may be calculated and applied to an account.

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TAX LIEN SALE:

What is the Tax Lien Sale?

Pursuant to the Maryland State law, each local jurisdiction holds an annual tax sale to sell property liens for unpaid property taxes and other charges to the highest bidder. The new certificate holders, upon being awarded the winning bid, pay the County the outstanding taxes and charges, including any penalty and interest charges. Please note that the County sells the lien on the property at tax sale, not the actual property.

When is the Tax Lien Sale?

The tax lien sale is held every year on the second Monday in June.

Where can I find more information about the annual Tax Lien Sale?

Click here for Tax Lien Sale information

Where can I find the final results of the Tax Lien Sale?

Click here for the results of the Tax Lien Sale

Tax Lien Sale Redemption by Owners

The owner or other person having an estate or interest in the property sold has the right to redeem the property tax lien at any time until the right of redemption is finally foreclosed by an order of the Circuit Court (Section 14-827). During this period of redemption, the owner of the property has the right to continue in possession of and to exercise all rights of ownership until such time as the right of redemption is foreclosed (Section 14-830).

To redeem a property tax lien, the owner shall:  

1. Determine the redemption amount and the need to obtain a release for actual and reasonable expenses from the certificate of sale holder by calling 240-777-8950; during the first four months after the date of the tax sale, properties may be redeemed without payment of the expenses listed below, including legal fees;

2. Reimburse the certificate of sale holder for actual and reasonable expenses incurred after a four month waiting period in preparation for any action to foreclose the right of redemption, and obtain a release from the certificate of sale holder, the plaintiff, or their attorney, that all reimbursable fees and expenses, if any, were satisfied; and

3. Present the release to the Collector and pay all redemption amounts due described below and all taxes in arrears after the tax sale to bring the tax account current. The redemption amount includes the amount due sold at tax sale, any interest computed from the date of the tax sale to the date of the redemption payment (Section 14-828), and reimbursement to the certificate of sale holder for actual and reasonable expenses incurred after a four month waiting period in preparation for any action to foreclose the right of redemption, including fees paid for recording the certificate of sale, for actual and reasonable attorney's fees for each certificate of sale, for expenses incurred in the publication and service of process by publication, for reasonable fees for a necessary title search, and for taxes (together with interest and penalties) arising after the date of sale that have been paid by the plaintiff or the holder of the certificate of sale (Section 14-843). The current redemption interest rate, as stated on the certificate of sale, is 20 percent per annum. Redemption payment must be made by certified check, cashier's check, money order, or cash to Montgomery County.

When all redemption obligations are satisfied by the owner, the Collector shall:

1. Notify the holder of the certificate of sale that the property was redeemed and that the certificate must be surrendered to the Collector; and

2. Upon receipt of the certificate of sale, remit all money received for redemption and the high-bid premium, to the holder of the certificate (Section 14-828(c)); the County will refund the high-bid premium, without interest, to the holder of the tax sale certificate on redemption of the property tax lien or to the plaintiff in an action to foreclose the right of redemption on delivery of a tax sale deed for the property for which the high-bid premium was paid. The high-bid premium is not refundable after the time required (under Section 14-833) for the filing of an action to foreclose the right of redemption, if there has been no redemption and if an action to foreclose the right of redemption has not been filed within that time.
If an action by the purchaser to foreclose the right of redemption was filed and there is a dispute regarding redemption, an order of the Court is required (Section 14-829).
Suggested formats for this release are attached as Exhibits A and B. The property owner is provided with the telephone number of the purchaser of the certificate of sale and is required to secure such release.

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REFUNDS

What if there is an overpayment on the account? How do I get a refund?

If there is a credit balance on the web tax bill, the homeowner needs to scroll to the bottom of the tax bill and click on the refund request form to obtain the necessary information.

Download a Refund Request Form or request it from the Property Tax Section at 240-777-8950. The on-line form requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

TAX TYPES:

What services are provided by the taxes?


General County Tax

This tax is levied on all property in the County and funds, in part, such basic services as police protection, elementary and secondary education, the community college, transportation, health and social services, and libraries.

State Property

This tax is levied by the State of Maryland and is used for the payment of principal and interest on State general obligation bonds. This tax is levied on real property only.

Municipal District Property Tax

This tax is levied by each municipal area within the County. It is used for such services as street and sidewalk maintenance, trash removal, tree care, sanitation, and police protection.

What are Special Area Taxes?

Special Area taxes are composed of ten lesser taxes, known as:

Fire District Tax

This tax is levied to fund the fire services provided by the consolidated fire district within Montgomery County.

Transit Tax

This tax is levied to fund Montgomery County’s share of construction cost, operating deficits, debt service requirements and bus acquisition of the Metro Rail and Regional Bus Systems.

Advanced Land Acquisition Tax

This tax is levied for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCP&PC) to purchase land as approved by the County Council, for planned public facilities, prior to development or improvement.

Metropolitan Tax

This tax is levied for the MNCP&PC, Department of Parks, and is used to provide for administration, operation, maintenance, and security (Park Police) of the various parks located in Montgomery County. This tax also provides funds for payment of debt service on bonds issued for neighborhood park land acquisition and development.

Regional Tax

This tax is levied for use by the MNCP&PC to support planning services.

Recreational Tax

This tax is levied to defray a portion of the costs of providing, maintaining and managing recreation facilities and programs throughout the County, with the exception of Rockville, Gaithersburg, and Washington Grove, which have their own separate tax levies for this purpose.

Storm Drainage Tax

This tax is levied to defray the cost of planning, designing, construction, maintaining drainage systems, and for the debt service on outstanding bonds issued for storm drainage improvements.

Parking Lot Tax

This tax is levied on business property located in the County’s parking districts (Bethesda, Silver Spring, Wheaton, and Montgomery Hills). The revenue is used to defray a portion of the costs of constructing, maintaining, and administering the parking facilities within each district as well as the debt service requirements associated with the outstanding bonds for each district. Revenues collected within a parking district are used exclusively for that district.

Urban District Tax

This tax is levied on business property located in Bethesda, Silver Spring, and Wheaton. The revenue is used to maintain streetscape amenities on private property and promote the business districts.

Noise Abatement Tax

At the request of residents, this tax is levied on two districts adjoining the Capital Beltway. The revenue is used for the construction of noise barriers.

Every County taxpayer pays some portion of these taxes. These taxes fund various projects related to the construction and operation of metro rail and the regional bus system, the fire departments, recreational facilities and parking lot districts. They also support the services of the Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission.

Mass Transit and Fire are countywide districts and their revenues are dedicated to specific purposes. Recreation is countywide, except for the Cities of Rockville and Gaithersburg, and the Town of Washington Grove.

To see more specifically how this affects your individual tax bill, please note the "CLASS" on your tax bill. Example: RO38 translates to class 38. Then go to the Property Tax Rate, find your tax class, and read across the tax class to determine which taxes you pay, and the tax rates associated

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Development District Tax and Assessments

Beginning in tax levy year 2002, if you own real property in tax classes R061 (Kingsview Village Center) or R064 (West Germantown), additional charges will appear on your real property tax bill. Through the creation of development districts, the County finances certain infrastructure improvements by issuing bonds secured by taxes and assessments levied on property in the district. An ad valorem based special tax is levied on all real property located in the districts and special assessments on undeveloped (not assessed at full value) residential property located in the districts to generate revenues to pay the debt service on the special obligation bonds issued with respect to each district. Revenues collected from each development district are used exclusively for that district.

CREDIT PROGRAMS:

Homeowner's Property Tax Credit:

Are there any programs to assist taxpayers in paying their tax bills?

There is a Homeowner's Property Tax Credit Program, including a County Supplemental tax credit, which is administered by the State and available to eligible homeowners based on household income. Applications must be filed no later than September 1st of each tax year. For information or an application, please call the State at (410) 767-4433 or (800) 944-7403 or visit their website at www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/htc.html.

I am a senior citizen, is there any tax assistance available to me?

Starting in 2007, Montgomery County has a Senior Property Tax Credit for property owners who are at least 70 years of age. This credit is based on 25% of the combined State Homeowner's Property Tax Credit (HOTC) and County Supplement and requires that property owners file an application for the HOTC with the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT). Based on the information provided in the application, SDAT will review eligibility for all three credit programs: State HOTC, County Supplement, and Senior credit. For information or to obtain an application, please call the State at (800) 944-7403 or visit their website at www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/htc.html.

Homestead Tax Credit:

The Homestead Tax Credit limits the increase in taxable assessment each year to a fixed percentage. Every county and municipality in Maryland is required to limit taxable assessment increases to no more than 10% per year. Montgomery County selected the 10% credit.

The credit applies only to owner occupied residential dwellings and is based on the total assessment for the land and dwelling associated with the dwelling. The credit does not limit the market value of the property. It is a credit applied against the tax due on the portion of the reassessment exceeding 10% (or the local lower limit) from one year to the next. The credit is based on the 10% limit for purposes of the State property tax, and 10% or less for purposes of local taxation. In other words, the homeowner pays no property tax on the assessment increase which is above the limit.

There are certain conditions that must be met for credit eligibility:

Click here for more information on the Homestead Tax Credit from the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation.

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Exemptions:

Disabled veterans and blind persons who are exempt from property taxes under State law can apply for a refund of property taxes for the past three years. For information or an application, call SDAT at (240) 314-4510, or click here and you will find information and applications for all of the programs.

How will tax credits be paid to taxpayers?

Homeowners' tax credits will be displayed on the tax bill. Participants in the State and the County's Supplemental Homeowner’s Tax Credit programs no longer receive vouchers in the mail. The amount of the credit will appear on the bill and will be used to reduce the tax amount due. If the credit is issued after the taxes are paid, a refund will automatically be issued to the taxpayer.

CHARGES:

Why am I receiving a tax bill when the property is tax exempt?

Chances are the bill you received is for one or more of the charges Montgomery County collects in addition to the taxes. These charges are Solid Waste, WSSC, and Water Quality. Even though you may be exempt from paying property taxes, the exemption does not extend to these charges.

SOLID WASTE CHARGE

Why is there a refuse charge on my real property tax bill when a private company bills me for trash collection?

The amount of the refuse (or solid waste) charge depends on the services you are receiving. All tax bills include a base systems benefit charge. Your tax bill may also include an incremental systems benefit charge (basically recycling services), a disposal fee, a collection fee, and a leaf vacuuming fee.
The total solid waste charge is based on the nature of your property and the services you receive from the County. The base systems benefit charge pays for the basic programs and facilities necessary to fulfill the County's State-mandated obligation to manage solid waste generated in the County. The incremental charge supports incremental recycling and composting services provided to different classes of ratepayers. The disposal charge covers a portion of the costs of solid waste disposal, and is charged to non-municipal single-family property owners only via the property tax bill in place of a refuse tipping fee charged to all others at the transfer station.

All residential properties within designated leaf vacuuming districts are provided leaf vacuuming service by the County and are charged a single-family or multi-family leaf vacuuming fee as part of their total solid waste charge. Finally, single-family households in a County refuse collection district receive refuse collection service from County contractors and pay the refuse collection charge as part of the total solid waste charge. Single-family households outside a collection district contract privately for trash collection service, and are billed independently for the collection service received. The private collector should not charge households outside a Collection District any cost for disposal. If you have any questions concerning the solid waste charge on your bill, please call Montgomery County’s Customer Service Center at 311 (from out-of-County: 240-777-0311, TTY: 301-251-4850). For additional information, visit the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Solid Waste Services website.

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WSSC FRONT FOOT CHARGE (FFBC):

What is FFBC?

FFBC stands for Front Foot Benefit Charge. This charge pays for the construction of the water and sewer lines leading to your property. The County collects this charge on behalf of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC). If you havequestions regarding this charge, call the WSSC at (301) 206-8032.

What does the WSSC Remainder mean?

The WSSC sewer hookup and connection are amortized over a period of 23 years. The WSSC front foot benefit charge listed on your tax bill under TAX DESCRIPTION isthe payment you are making annually against that remaining balance labeled WSSC REMAINDER.

If you wish to pay off this amount, please contact WSSC to verify the amount due and the address to which the payment must be sent. DO NOT send a check to Montgomery County Treasury for this charge.

WATER QUALITY PROTECTION CHARGE:

The Water Quality Protection charge (WQPC) on the tax bill provides funding for the structural maintenance of stormwater management facilities and water quality improvements in the County. The program pays partially for the capture and treatment of uncontrolled stormwater runoff from urban surfaces through:

The WQPC is the sole source of funding for:

 

BAY RESTORATION FUND FEE:

Due to a State law enacted in 2004 all properties in the State of Maryland are levied a fee (the Bay Restoration Fund or BRF) to finance the upgrade of Maryland’s wastewater treatment facilities and to improve the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay.  In addition, a similar fee paid by septic system users will be utilized to upgrade onsite systems and implement cover crops to reduce nitrogen loading to the Bay. Each residential unit, with an equivalent charge for commercial and industrial users, is levied $2.50 per month. The law also requires that water utility companies, such as WSSC in Montgomery County, and Rockville and Poolesville, which have their own water and sewer systems, levy this fee through their regular utility billing. Since most County taxpayers are on a sewer system and/or receive water service from their utility company, the majority have already seen this charge on their WSSC or municipal utility bill since July 2005. Also pursuant to State law, the remaining group of taxpayers – those who have a septic system and do not receive water service from WSSC – are levied the fee on their County real property tax bill. For this latter group, the fee was effective October 1, 2005 and therefore excluded from last year’s tax bill. This year only, your tax bill reflects the BRF fee retroactive to the effective date. As a result, for those taxpayer eligible for the fee, the amount due is $52.50 – representing 9 months in levy year 2005 and 12 months in levy year 2006. Subsequent year billing, however, will reflect the annual $30.00 fee. For more information, please call 800-633-6101 or visit the “Chesapeake Bay Restoration Act” section of the Maryland Department of the Environment’s website at www.mde.state.md.us/Water/bayrestoration.asp

The County worked closely with WSSC to avoid double-billing. However, in the event that you already paid the BRF fee to WSSC, please do one of the following: (1) call 240-777-8950, (2) send an e-mail to BRF.response@montgomerycountymd.gov, or (3) mail-in the enclosed form to the County.

DUPLICATE TAX BILLS:

How can I receive a duplicate bill?

You may obtain copies of tax bills from 1999 to the present on the website free of charge. There is a $10 duplicate bill fee for hard copies. You need to make the request in writing and submit it, along with your check made payable to: Montgomery County and addressed to Montgomery County Treasury Division, 255 Rockville Pike, Suite L-15, Rockville, MD 20850. You may expect a 2-3 week turnaround for this request.

I need a tax bill for my child to register with the school.

The School Board has agreed to accept the website printed bills. You may obtain a copy of your tax bill here.

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MORTGAGE COMPANY INFORMATION:

What if my real property tax bill went to the wrong mortgage company?
Or
My Mortgage Company is not listed at all?
Or
There is mortgage name listed but I don't have a mortgage.

Montgomery County does not maintain a lender database. Every year in June, the mortgage information is purged. New lender request tapes are then processed, which in turn causes the most recent lender information to show up in the Mortgage Information box on your tax bill mailed in July. You need to verify that your mortgage lender has made the request or you may wish to send them of copy of your bill. Since this maintenance procedure is done only once a year, any information that may or may not be correct and current will remain on the tax bill throughout the entire tax year.

The County does not automatically provide tax billing information to the lender; the lender must make a request for the information. Unless the mortgage lender makes that request in the spring in time to meet the tax bill printing deadlines, their name will not appear on the tax bill.

My mortgage company says they paid the County in August and it’s now September. Why is the payment not showing on my account?

Many of the mortgage companies outsource their tax paying process to a third party tax service bureau. Because the lenders must have their list of accounts to be paid and the funds deposited with the tax service by a specific date (usually, either in August or November), they tell their clients that they have paid the County. The County has established a schedule for the Lenders and the Service Bureaus to submit their payments, so the accounts may be credited in a timely fashion (usually, the last week of September or December). In short, there is often at least one month between the time that the payment leaves the mortgage lender and that it is received and processed by the County.

TRANSFERRING & REFINANCING PROPERTY

If you are transferring (i.e., selling) your property and your tax bill is unpaid at the time of settlement, taxes will be collected by the settlement attorney. Pursuant to Maryland State Law, all real estate taxes must be current (i.e., paid) before the deed can transfer to the new owner.

Problems may arise, most often around the time that property tax payments are due in September and December, respectively. If the original mortgage lender sent the payment, but it has not yet been posted to the account at the time of settlement, then payments will need to be collected at settlement in order to pay property taxes and have the deed recorded. There are two scenarios that effect how the overpayment would be handled:

In the event that the settlement payment is made prior to the mortgage lender (assuming the lender uses the mass payment option to pay taxes), then there is no need for the seller to request a refund from the County, because the money will automatically be returned to the lender. The seller will need to contact their lender for a refund.

In the event that the settlement payment is made after the mortgage lender, there may be a need for the seller to request a refund from the County.

The County makes every effort to avoid overpayments (e.g., the settlement attorney's payment is reviewed prior to posting), and will return the check representing the overpayment to the law firm for distribution to the client. However, in some cases payments may post and be eligible for a refund. In these cases, the seller needs to provide a copy of their escrow analysis from the lender and the settlement HUD1 document as proof for requesting a refund.Click here for the refund request form

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MORTGAGE REFINANCING:

In contrast to a property transfer, Maryland State law and the County do not require that property taxes must be paid if you refinance your mortgage. However, often mortgage lenders will require that property taxes must be current before the new mortgage is issued to the taxpayer.

In cases where an overpayment may have resulted from a property tax payment by both the previous and new mortgage lender, the procedure is identical as that shown in the previous “Property Transfer” section.

CHANGE OF ADDRESS

How do I correct the name and address on my tax bill?

If the wrong mailing address appears on the tax bill or the real property assessment notice, or you would like to change the address to which your tax bills, assessment notices and other correspondence should be mailed, please call the State Assessment Office (SDAT) at 240-314-4510 or visit the SDAT internet website www.dat.state.md.us to e-mail your request to the State. You will need to provide the account number or the address of the property and the resident status. Once the correction is made by SDAT, the County will automatically receive the information from the State. However, please remember that since the State maintains the database, the County can not make any changes to your property tax account including the mailing address.

RESIDENT STATUS:

I am the principal resident how do I make that change?

To change your residency status, please contact the State Assessment Office:

By phone: 240-314-4510
By email: mont@dat.state.md.us

A person or married couple can only have one principal residence. Principal residence is the dwelling where the homeowner regularly resides and is the location designated by the owner for the legal purposes of voting, obtaining a driver's license, and filing income tax returns.

Only the owner's principal residence is eligible for the Homestead Tax Credit, the Homeowners' Tax Credit and other State and local tax credit programs. In addition, only the owner's principal residence is eligible for the semi-annual property tax payment program. The State Assessment Office may request documentation to verify that a dwelling is the principal residence of a homeowner.

PROPERTY SOLD?

What should I do with a bill that I received for property that I no longer own?

Return the bill to:

Division of Treasury
255 Rockville Pike, Suite L-15
Rockville, MD 20850.

Please enclose a short note indicating that the property was sold.