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Yes. State law provides that all real property is subject to a property tax. You will receive a property tax bill each year. The property owner is responsible for payment of property taxes.
The county mails the property tax bill to the owner of record on the tax roll. The tax roll is prepared from the assessment roll that is maintained by the State Department of Assessments and Taxation. About June 1 each year, the State Department of Assessments and Taxation prepares the information on the assessment roll to be used by the county to create the tax roll.
The assessment roll contains the name and address of the owner of record; brief description of the property, and the value and assessment of the property.
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Yes. If you wish to make a one-time payment in advance of the tax year, the county will calculate your taxes using the current tax rate in effect applied to the prior year assessment. No interest will be credited to your payment. If the taxes due on the property for the year of payment made exceeds the amount paid, a balance due letter will be sent to the taxpayer.
Eligible homeowners may reduce their property taxes by applying for a real property tax credit. A list of available credits can be found on the Real Property Tax Credit Information page.
Yes. As part of our commitment to provide citizens with efficient, convenient services, Harford County has partnered with Official Payment Corporation, a third-party provider to offer electronic payments over the Internet or by telephone. The third-party provider will assess a convenience fee each time you use their service to make tax and assessment payments by credit/debit card. Harford County accepts Visa® , MasterCard® and Discover® credit cards and electronic checks. If paying by credit/debit card, there will be a 2.25% convenience fee. NOTE: Currently credit card fees continue to be waived for online payments of permit fees and property taxes until December 31, 2022. If paying by electronic check, there is no fee.
Under the law it is assumed that delivery of the bill is made unless it is returned to the county by the Postal Service. If you did not receive a property tax bill, you may review the amount due online at Property Bill Search or contact the Bureau of Revenue Collections at 410-638-3269 for a copy of your bill.
Under current State law all residential property that is owner occupied can make payment of property taxes on a semiannual basis. As an individual, however, you may elect to pay the total amount due. If you have a mortgage company or other escrow account holder for your property taxes, you can request that they make payment on an annual basis.
If you are paying your taxes directly, all you need to do is to make payment of the full annual amount as provided on your tax bill by September 30. If your mortgage holder pays your taxes from an escrow account, you must notify them of your choice.
State law requires mortgage holders to pay on a semiannual basis unless otherwise directed by the property owner.
Customers of the county’s water and sewer system may have two types of bills. One is a quarterly bill for usage, generally based on the amount of water used by the property. Usage bills pay the cost of the daily operation and maintenance of the water and sewer system in the county and are increased annually by the CPI. The other type of bill is for capital charges, which vary from property to property depending on the time period of connection and location in the county. These charges are used to pay for the cost of construction transmission facilities, pumping stations, water booster stations, storage facilities, treatment facilities, etc.
Usage bills: The county bills each customer for water and sewage use on a quarterly basis. Each customer has 30 days for payment. After 30 days a 5% late fee is added to the bill as required by the County Code Section 256-19(A)(4). Service may be terminated if the bill remains unpaid. If service is terminated an additional fee of $50 will be added to the bill for turn-off/turn-on.
Water and sewer capital charges: Depending on where the property is in the county, a property served by the county’s water and sewer system can have one or more annual assessments due on the property. Most annual assessments are mailed July 1 to the latest property owner of record. An additional 1.5% is added to the base bill for each month or portion of a month the assessment is past due. Should the assessment remain unpaid as of the third Monday in June, the property will be sold at the annual tax sale of the county. To determine the amount of any assessments on a property, you may view the amount due online at Property Bill Search or call the Water and Sewer Accounting Section at 410-638-3311. They will provide you with an explanation of the charges against your property and the length of time remaining for the assessment.
Property tax bills are mailed to taxpayers on July 1. As discussed in a previous question, the owner of the property has until September 30 to pay the bill without incurring additional costs. As of October 1, interest is added to the bill for any portion of that month at a current rate of 1.5% on the county portion and 1% on the state portion for each month that payment is not made. Also, on October 1 a one-time 6% penalty is assessed on the county property tax portion. At the end of February of each year, a delinquent notice is mailed to the owner of the property if any amount of taxes are still unpaid. Beginning April 1, additional charges are added to the property tax bill for the cost of preparing the property for tax sale.
If the taxes are not paid by April 1, the property will be advertised for tax sale in the local newspaper twice during the month of April. If they remain unpaid as of May 1, additional charges are added to the bill for the costs of the tax sale.
The property is advertised a total of four more times during the months of May and June in preparation for the tax sale that occurs online the third Monday in June each year.
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The current rate is 12% on the amount paid the day of tax sale by the purchaser.
Bills are mailed out July 1 with the base amount due by September 30. Beginning October 1 interest and penalties are added to the base bill amount.
The county provides several ways for you to make payment.
Electronic payments: As part of our commitment to provide citizens with efficient, convenient services, Harford County has partnered with Official Payment Corporation, a third-party payment provider to offer electronic payments over the Internet or by telephone. The third-party provider will assess a convenience fee each time you use its service to make tax and assessment payments by credit/debit card. Harford County accepts Visa®, MasterCard®, and Discover® credit cards and electronic checks. NOTE: Currently credit card fees continue to be waived for online payments of permit fees and property taxes until at least December 31, 2022.
By mail: Enclosed with each tax bill is a return envelope for mailing your payment. The address on the envelope is our mail payment processing address located in Baltimore.
In person: You may wish to make payment in person by visiting our office at 220 S. Main Street in Bel Air on the first floor. The entrance is on the Main Street side of the building. Convenient parking is available on the side and back of the building. Office hours are Monday through Friday, except county holidays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
After office hours: A "drop-box" for payment deposits is also located at 220 S. Main Street in Bel Air, at the rear of the building, if our office hours are not convenient. Payments will be processed the next business day.
No property tax money goes to support the water and sewer system. In accordance with the county charter, the water and sewer fund is self-supporting and is paid for by the users of the system.
The purpose of assessing interest and penalty is to encourage timely payment of taxes.