IMPORTANT HOMESTEAD TAX CREDIT NOTICE
State Legislation approved during the 2007 session of the General Assembly requires homeowners to submit an application in order to continue to receive the homestead tax credit. You will receive the application with your next reassessment notice. For more information, click here. To submit your homestead tax credit application online, please click here.
How is my property assessed?
All real property (real estate) in Dorchester County is subject to taxation, except that which is specifically exempt. Each property is assessed every three years at 100% of market value by the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT). Should you wish to discuss your assessment in more detail, or have a question regarding the assessment appeals process, please call SDAT at 410-228-3380 or visit their website at www.dat.state.md.us.
When will my property be assessed next?
Each residential property in Dorchester is re-assessed once every three years. Please click here to view the residential reassessment area map maintained by the State Department of Assessments and Taxation.
How are my real property taxes calculated?
Real property tax is calculated by multiplying the tax rate (per $100) by the property’s assessed value. The tax rate is set each year by the County Council and applies for the taxable year beginning July 1st and ending June 30th. This period is also known as the tax levy year and represents the County’s fiscal year.
What municipalities have their taxes collected by Dorchester County?
Dorchester County government collects taxes for following six municipalities in the County:
Town of Brookview, Town of Church Creek, Town of East New Market, Town of Galestown, Town of Hurlock and the Town of Secretary.
What if I didn't receive a tax bill?
Bills are mailed to all taxpayers in July. If you have not received your bill, please contact us. Chances are that you may have forgotten to notify the State Assessment office of your change of address and the tax bill was returned to us. Please note that failure to receive a tax bill does not relieve taxpayers of their obligation to pay the tax bill.
When are tax payments due?
Annual tax bills are due September 30th. First semi-annual installments are due September 30th. Second semi-annual installments are due December 31st. Pursuant to Maryland Law, tax payments must be made on or before the due date to avoid interest and penalty charges.
Do I qualify for the semi-annual tax payment plan?
Effective July 1st, 2000, a semi-annual tax payment schedule became mandatory for all owner-occupied residential property owners in the State of Maryland. Taxpayers may opt to pay annually, but they must notify their lender prior to May 1st of their intention. The County and the mortgage lenders will assume that taxes are being paid semi-annually unless the taxpayer notifies their mortgage lender that they want to pay annually. You do not need to notify the County; the County will accept either an annual or semi-annual payment. Semi-annual tax payments are due in two installments; the first on or before September 30th and the second on or before December 31st. There is a service charge associated with the second semi-annual payment. This option is not available after September 30, 2006.
How can I pay my taxes?
- To pay online or by phone using a credit card or bank debit card
To pay by your taxes with a credit or debit card, please click here. To pay by phone call 1-800-2PAY-TAX. Our jurisdiction code is 3009. OfficialPayments.com assesses a convenience fee each time the service is used. Payments by credit and bank debit cards are assessed a convenience fee of approximately 2.5% of the property tax payment amount. Dorchester County receives no money from this convenience fee.
- To pay by mail
Make check payable to Dorchester County, Maryland and send with the appropriate coupon to:
Dorchester County, Maryland,
P.O. Box 66,
Cambridge, MD 21613
- To pay in person
Payments to the County may be made at the Treasury Office located in Room 102 of the County Office Building, 501 Court Lane, Cambridge, Maryland 21613. The Treasury is open Monday-Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, with the exception of County holidays. Accepted forms of payment are cash, checks, credit cards and money orders. So we may better serve you, please bring your tax bill when paying in person.
What if my taxes are not paid on time?
Annual tax bills and the first installment of semi-annual bills are due on or before September 30th and become delinquent on October 1st. The second semi-annual installment is due December 31st and becomes delinquent January 1st. Delinquent tax bills are subject to interest at the rate of 1% per month until paid in full. Delinquent tax bills are also subject to a penalty of 1% assessed January 1st. Interest and penalty are calculated on the net amount of the bill, after any credits are applied. Delinquent taxes will result in the sale of the property tax lien through a public tax lien sale in June of the subsequent calendar year. Taxpayers receive a delinquency or tax lien sale notice in April. Accounts eligible for the tax lien sale are listed for four consecutive weeks preceding the tax lien sale in a Dorchester County newspaper and are subject to an advertising fee. Property tax accounts taken to tax lien sale may be subject to additional legal costs that are incurred by the new tax lien certificate holder.
Are there any programs to assist taxpayers in paying their tax bills?
Homeowner’s Property Tax Credit
There is a Homeowner’s Property Tax Credit Program, which is administered by the State and available to eligible homeowners based on household income. Applications must be filed no later than September 1st of each tax year. For information or an application, please call the State at (800) 944-7403 or visit their website at www.dat.state.md.us.
Homestead Tax Credit
The Homestead Credit limits the annual increase in taxable assessment on owner-occupied residential properties to a fixed percentage. Beginning July 1, 2006, the taxable assessment for County taxes on owner-occupied residential properties in Dorchester County is limited to 5%. Any applicable credit has been used in the calculation of this bill.
Disabled Veterans Tax Exemption
There is a complete exemption from real property taxes on the dwelling house owned by veterans or their surviving spouses where there is a service-connected disability which is 100% disabling and permanent in character. Un-remarried surviving spouses also may apply for this exemption. Surviving spouses of military personnel killed in the line of duty may also apply for an exemption. For further information call the local Assessment office at (410)228-3380.
Those persons with a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye may receive, with a doctor’s certification, an exemption of $15,000.00 of assessment reduction on the dwelling house and surrounding yard. Legally blind persons may apply at any time and need not meet the general September 1 filing deadline.
What if my taxes are paid by my mortgage company?
If your mortgage company pays your property taxes, it is your responsibility to send a copy of this bill to them.
What services are provided by these taxes?
The real property taxes fund, in part, such basic services as our public schools, our jail, the Sheriff’s Office, the 911 Center, Chesapeake College, the Health Department, the public library, the Elections Office, and Recreation & Parks. These taxes do not fund maintenance of our roads, or operations of our landfill. For more information concerning the County’s budget, please see the Taxpayer Information pamphlet enclosed with your bill or visit the County’s website at www.docogonet.com.