How Do I?

What is the City’s property tax rate and what impacts it?

Baltimore City’s property tax rate is the highest in the State at 2.248%, or $2.248 per $100 of assessed value. There are several factors that contribute to this property tax rate, including aging infrastructure, population reductions, low median household income, property vacancy rates, and tax incentives and exemptions. We provide an overview in our infographic, “What Impacts Our Property Tax Rate?”, and an in-depth analysis in the Executive Summary for each fiscal year.

You can find other local tax rates here.

What has been done to reduce the property tax rate in the City?

In Fiscal 2020, Baltimore City fully implemented the 20 Cents by 2020 program to make it easier for homeowners to stay in the City. This program brings down the effective property tax rate per $100 of assessed value from $2.248 to $2.048 for owner-occupied properties.

Proposals to reduce property taxes are painstakingly considered because real property tax revenues represent about 50% of the funding source for the City’s General Fund. Any attempt to reduce the rate to make it more comparable to neighboring jurisdictions must be supported by either alternative revenue sources to offset reduction in this revenue, or an equivalent reduction in the level of service the City provides. You can learn what impacts the City’s property tax rate here.

How do homeowner tax incentives impact the budget?

The City has created several tax incentive programs to help offset the City’s high property tax rate for residents. Choosing where to live is a complicated decision based on a variety of factors such as housing choices, transportation options, and family considerations, among others. We are currently analyzing the impact of the City’s tax credit portfolio on the City’s finances to ensure that there is a net financial return for the City, as well as examining who it is receiving these benefits through an equity lens.

You can learn more about what tax credits Baltimore currently offers and how to apply here, as well as a general overview here.

What happens to surplus revenue?

The City can have a General Fund surplus when City revenue receives exceeds City spending. If the City generates a General Fund revenue surplus, funds are set aside for any known outstanding risks, such as legal liabilities, or are spent on one-time projects. This is different than the City’s Rainy Day Fund, which is the fund that the City can only use for unanticipated emergencies, such as natural disasters and civil unrest. Due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the City’s budget, the Rainy Day Fund will be used to fill a budget deficit in Fiscal 2020.