BALTIMORE — Baltimore City has announced Thursday that the Tax Sale Exemption Program applications will be open on February 15.
The program is an annual city program managed by the Department of Finances and Housing and Community Development. In past years, successful applicants could get their homes removed from the tax sale in the year they applied. This will be the first year that the program will be in effect.
"As part of our critical work to prevent property vacancies and keep our longtime homeowners in their properties, I am proud to announce the launch of our Tax Sale Exemption Program," said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. "This is a key part of our larger strategy to reform the City's antiquated tax sale process and protect our residents. A major component of my Equitable Neighborhood Development Pillar is stabilizing communities and today's announcement is a vital first step to that goal..."
Every year, the City sets aside $2 million as a part of the Baltimore City Council Bill 20-0593. Each applicant's liens are deducted from the remaining debt from that starting balance. The program will end once the $2 million has been spent.
The City will be accepting applications from February 15 to April 15. Residents must apply to qualified exempt properties from the annual tax sale every year.
Eligible homeowners can acquire an application through the DHCD website. Paper applications are also available on the first level of the Abel Wolman Building and the 11th floor of 417 E. Fayette Street.
A qualified homeowner must meet these criteria:
- Their home's assessed value is $250,000 or less.
- Homeowners must reside in their home for at least 15 years as their primary residence; and one of the following:
- The homeowner's annual household earned income is less than $36,000
- The homeowner is at least 65 years old and earns no more than $75,000 per year.
- The homeowner is an adult who receives disability payments from the Federal Social Security Disability Insurance Program or the Supplemental Security Income Program and earns $75,000 or less per year.
Because the amount of properties exempt from tax sale through this program is limited, applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.
All paper applications can be mailed or submitted in person to the DHCD building at 417 E. Fayette Street, Suite 1125.
"Our goal is to help as many residents as we can who are facing a tax sale to have their property removed from that sale," said Housing Commissioner Alice Kennedy. "With the improvements under the new Tax Sale Exemption Program, we expect to help an increased number of residents who qualify during the application period."
Unpaid bills are not forgiven under the program, and if they are not paid, the property may be subject to a tax sale the following year.
For more information regarding the application process, please call the Department of Finance at (410) 396 3000 or email the Department of Housing & Community Development at email@example.com.