What is the semi-annual billing program and how does it work?
The State of Maryland has enacted legislation allowing real property taxes on a homeowner's "principal residence" and “commercial property” to be paid on an optional semi-annual payment schedule. Simply, this means that instead of paying your entire bill by September 30, only one half of the balance due is payable as of that date. The remaining half is not payable until December 31. This second installment will contain an additional service charge over and above the property tax amount to offset the lost interest to the county.

If your property has been designated by the State Department of Assessments and Taxation as your "principal residence," the tax bill shows both the first and second payments, as well as the dollar amount of the service charge. If you pay your taxes directly to the county, you may choose either the annual or semiannual payment by simply paying that amount. If you pay your taxes as part of your payment to a mortgage holder or escrow account servicer and have not made an election to the contrary, you will be considered a semi-annual property taxpayer on your principal residence. Homeowners who wish to avoid the current service charge may pay the full taxes due by September 30. To do so, contact your mortgage company or escrow service in writing before May 1.

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1. When are property taxes due?
2. What is the semi-annual billing program and how does it work?