BALTIMORE — The looming tax sale is now officially delayed and now some people can breathe a sigh of relief because they are no longer at risk of losing their homes.
Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott announced first steps that include removing certain liens from the upcoming tax sale in the city.
Nneka Nnamdi with Fight Blight Bmore created the Stop Oppressive Seizures Fund to help families that couldn’t get under the threshold to save their home in time.
Nnamdi said the announcement is a step in the right direction, but there is a lot more to be done.
In Baltimore if you have over $750 in property taxes your home can be put into a tax sale.
On Monday Scott announced he’s removing first time owner occupied tax liens.
In addition, the Mayor is committing three full time employees form the finance department to help homeowners through the tax sale.
“This marks a historic shift in Baltimore’s thinking around the tax sale and it’s only the first step my administration will be taking regarding the tax sale,” said Scott. “Additionally starting today the city will closely monitor the 2021 tax sale and take action to support homeowners during and immediately following this years sale.”
While the Mayors announcement is progress, Nnamdi has questions about how the city will implement its plan.
“We have still concerns about how legacy residents that are in tangled title situations or heirs property, how they will fair,” Nnamdi said. “What does it mean you say new properties in tax sale? Does that mean if 15 years ago and your in tax sale now you won’t be covered, you won’t be taken out?”
She said the ultimate goal is to completely get rid of the tax sale.
Pointing out how the loss of property directly leads to blight and violence in black and brown communities.
“We simply should not be farming out debt to private investors,” said Nnamdi. "The city needs to create its own equitable collection program, it also needs to be about the business of making sure that homeowners are receiving both the homestead tax credit and the homeowners tax credit if they are eligible.”
The deadline to get under the $750 threshold is May 12th.
The city also announced today that , residents experiencing issues related to the tax sale can call 410-396-3556 to be connected with a member of the Bureau of Revenue Collection.
To learn more about the SOS fund or to help families dealing with tax sale click here.