Assessments and Tax Rates
All real property (real estate) in Frederick County is subject to taxation, except that which is specifically exempt. Each property is assessed every 3 years by the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT). Should you wish to discuss your assessment or the appeals process, please call SDAT at 301-815-5350 or visit their website.
Annual and Supplemental Tax Bills
Annual and semi-annual tax bills are mailed to homeowners in July of each year. The semi-annual bill has coupons for both installments. The tax bills are also posted to the county’s website by July 1st. If you have not received your bill, please check the county’s website or call the Treasury Department at 301-600-1111.
Annual tax bills are due September 30th. A discount of 1% is given for payments received in July and a discount of 1/2% is given for payments received in August.
The first semi-annual installment is due September 30th. The second semi-annual installment is due December 31st. A discount of 1% is given for payments received in July and a discount of 1/2% is given for payments received in August.
Supplemental bills are mailed in August. They will include property transfers that occurred in June as well as credits that were issued by the State after the July billing. Supplemental and revised tax bills are due 30 days from the time of issue.
Please note that failure to receive a tax bill does not relieve taxpayers of their obligation to pay the tax bill.
Pursuant to Maryland Law, tax payments must be made on or before the due date to avoid interest and penalty charges. Payments received via the U.S. Postal Service that are postmarked by the last calendar day of the month will be credited to the account as of the postmark date. Payments made in person at the Treasury Department office must be made by the close of business on the last business day of the month to be credited to the account as received in that month. Electronic payments must be entered into the online payment system of the county as of midnight on the last day of the month to be credited as received in that month. Interest will begin to accrue on unpaid accounts on October 1st at a rate of 1% per month.
New Construction Bills
In the case of new homes, most often the developer pays the land bill only (i.e., the unimproved portion of your property) since the State Assessment office may not have assessed the dwelling (i.e., your home or the improvement portion of your property). In these cases there is a new construction bill. New construction bills are based on when the state assesses the dwelling. The supplemental bills will be in the form of a half year bill, which covers the period January 1st through June 30th.
These new construction bills are mailed only to the homeowner (these bills are not sent to the lender) and are due within 30 days. If the homeowner escrows their taxes and would like the lender to pay the new construction bill, the homeowner must send the tax bill to the lender.
After the State Assessment office makes an adjustment to an assessment, the homeowner will receive a revised tax bill that reflects those changes (these bills are not sent to the lender). If the homeowner escrows their taxes and would like the lender to pay a revised bill, the homeowner must send the tax bill to the lender.
Payment Options By Credit Card
Frederick County has partnered with Govolution to facilitate credit and debit card payments. The merchant card processor assesses a service fee each time a credit or debit card is used. Payments by credit and debit cards are assessed a service fee of 2.5% of the property tax payment amount. Frederick County receives no money from this service fee.
Payments can be made online. Under Online Payments click on Real Estate Taxes Inquiry and Payment. If you encounter problems with your credit or debit transaction, please contact the Treasury Department at 301-600-1111.
To Pay By Mail
Frederick County Treasury Department
30 N. Market St.
Frederick, MD 21701
To Pay In Person
Payments to the county may be made at the Treasurer's Office located at 30 North Market Street in Frederick. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Accepted forms of payment are cash, checks, money orders, credit and debit cards (a service fee of 2.5% will be added to all credit and debit card transactions).
For Lenders there is a Mass Payment Option
Lenders, if you are interested in the Mass Payment Process, please contact our billing office at 301-600-1111.
Tax Lien Sale Redemption by Owners
The owner or other person having an estate or interest in the property sold has the right to redeem the property tax lien at any time until the right of redemption is finally foreclosed by an order of the Circuit Court (Section 14-827). During this period of redemption, the owner of the property has the right to continue in possession of and to exercise all rights of ownership until such time as the right of redemption is foreclosed (Section 14-830).
To redeem a property tax lien, the owner shall:
Determine the redemption amount and the need to obtain a release for actual and reasonable expenses from the certificate of sale holder by calling 301-600-1111; during the first 4 months after the date of the tax sale, properties may be redeemed without payment of the expenses listed below, including legal fees;
Reimburse the certificate of sale holder for actual and reasonable expenses incurred after a 4 month waiting period in preparation for any action to foreclose the right of redemption, and obtain a release from the certificate of sale holder, the plaintiff, or their attorney, that all reimbursable fees and expenses, if any, were satisfied; and
Present the release to the collector and pay all redemption amounts due described below and all taxes in arrears after the tax sale to bring the tax account current. The redemption amount includes the amount due sold at tax sale, any interest computed from the date of tax sale to the date of the redemption payment (Section 14-828), and reimbursement to the certificate of sale holder for actual and reasonable expenses incurred after a 4 month waiting period in preparation for any action to foreclose the right of redemption, including fees paid for recording the certificate of sale, for actual and reasonable attorney's fees for each certificate of sale, for expenses incurred in the publication and service of process by publication, for reasonable fees for a necessary title search, and for taxes (together with interest and penalties) arising after the date of sale that have been paid by the plaintiff or the holder of the certificate of sale (Section 14-843). The current redemption interest rate, as stated on the certificate of sale, is 8% per annum. Redemption payment must be made by certified check, cashier' s check, money order, or cash to Frederick County.
When all redemption obligations are satisfied by the owner, the Collector shall;
Notify the holder of the certificate of sale that the property was redeemed and the certificate must be surrendered to the Collector; and
Upon receipt of the certificate of sale, remit all money received for redemption and the high-bid premium, to the holder of the certificate (Section14-828c); the county will refund the high-bid premium without interest, to the holder of the tax sale certificate on redemption of the property tax lien or to the plaintiff in an action to foreclose the right of redemption on delivery of a tax sale deed for the property for which the high-bid premium was paid. The high-bid premium is not refundable after the time required (under Section 14-833) for the filing of an action to foreclose the right of redemption, if there has been no redemption and if an action to foreclose the right of redemption has not been filed within that time.
The property owner is provided with the telephone number of the purchaser of the certificate of sale and is required to secure such release.
Tax Types General County Tax
This tax is levied on all property in the county and funds, in part, such basic services as police protection, fire/rescue services, elementary and secondary education, the community college, transportation, libraries, health, and social services.
State Property Tax
This tax is levied by the State of Maryland and is used for the payment of principal and interest on State Bonds. This tax is levied on real property only.
Municipal District Property Tax
This tax is levied by each municipality within the county. Although the services provided by tax revenues differs for each municipality, it is used generally for services such as street and sidewalk maintenance, trash removal, tree care, sanitation, and police protection.
Community Development Authority Tax
Additional taxes are levied only in specially defined areas, properties in these areas are levied special taxes and assessments that are used to pay the debt service on bonds that finance specific infrastructure improvements.
Lighting District Tax
This tax is levied in specially defined areas of the county to fund electric lighting.
System Benefit Charge
All taxpayers are billed directly for county supported solid waste and recycling services, facilities, and programs. The System Benefit Charge is made up of components that vary based on the services provided by the county. Residential rates are applied per dwelling unit for both single and multi-family properties. Non-residential rates are applied to properties with improvement values greater than $5,000 and the number of billing units is based upon the primary use of the property, structure area and land use code. Inquiries regarding the System Benefit Charge should be directed to the Division of Utilities and Solid Waste Management.
Bay Restoration Fee
In 2004 Maryland created the Bay Restoration Fund. This fund is to be used for grants and loans to upgrade technology at wastewater treatment plants, upgrade failing septic systems and pay for cover crops on farmland to reduce the amount of nitrogen flowing into the bay. The county is required to collect the fee for those residences with private septic systems. If applicable, this fee has been added to your property tax bill. For more information, visit the Maryland Department of the Environment.
Stormwater Remediation Fee
Effective July 2012, the Maryland State Legislature passed the Stormwater Management – Watershed Protection and Restoration Program. The law requires 9 counties (including Frederick County) and the City of Baltimore to establish a stormwater utility fee on or before July 1, 2013. The purpose of the fee is to fund the implementation of local stormwater management practices.
Properties that are not within a municipality or not owned by a government or volunteer fire company will have to pay the fee. Government and volunteer fire company properties are prohibited from being charged by state law. If you see the fee on your property tax bill, then you are required to pay the fee.
Credit Programs Senior Tax Credit
If you are at least 65 years of age and meet income eligibility requirements, you may be eligible for the Senior Tax Credit. The Senior Tax Credit is a supplement to the current Frederick County Homeowner Tax Credit supplement. The state administers the credit as part of the State Homeowner Tax Credit Program, and all other qualifications and limitations of the State Homeowner Tax Credit Program apply. A homeowner uses the State Homeowner Tax Credit form to apply for both the state and county credits. The amount of the Senior Tax Credit is 20% of the net County real property taxes (up to zero) for qualifying homeowners. This credit does not apply to the county lighting district tax, community development authority tax or to any fees such as the System Benefit Charge, Bay Restoration Fee or Stormwater Remediation Fee. It also does not apply to any State or municipality tax. Full details are available in this fact sheet: Senior Credit Tax Fact Sheet
County Deferral Program
If you have resided in your home for at least 5 consecutive years, are at least 65 years of age or are permanently and totally disabled and meet income eligibility requirements, you may be eligible for deferment of increases in county real property tax. If you participate in this program, a lien will be placed on the property for the amount of the deferral plus 3% annual interest.
For further information on both the Senior Tax Credit and the deferral program, please contact the Frederick County Treasury Department at 301-600-1111.
Homestead Property Tax Credit
This credit is used to assist homeowners who are impacted by large assessment increases, the State of Maryland, Frederick County, and several municipalities limit the annual taxable assessment increase for owner-occupied residential properties. The county limit is 5% and the state is 10%. The municipalities vary from 0% to 10%. This homestead tax credit is administered by the state and is automatically applied to all properties listed as 'Principle Residence' and where the property owner has lived in the residence for 12 months prior to the issuance of the bill. If you are eligible but did not receive the credit or wish to learn more about the program, please contact SDAT at 301-815-5350 or visit their website.
Homeowner's Property Tax Credit
Homeowner's Property Tax Credit Program, including a county supplemental tax credit are administered by the state and the tax credits are granted to eligible homeowners of all ages. Applications for this program must be filed by September one of the current tax year. The program provides tax credits for homeowners who qualify on the basis of their household income. For further information or to obtain and application form, contact SDAT at 301-815-5350 or visit their website.
Other County Tax Programs
The county offers other tax programs for agricultural property and historical district property.
Disabled veterans and blind persons who are exempt from property taxes under State law can apply for a refund of property taxes for the past 3 years. For information or an application, call SDAT at 301-815-5350 or visit their website.
The state has other real property tax exemption programs available to those that qualify. Programs are also available for churches, cemeteries, and charitable or educational properties. For further information or to obtain an application form, contact SDAT at 301-815-5350 or visit their website.
Mortgage Company Information
Frederick County does not maintain mortgage company information. We are required by law to send the tax bill to the property owner. We do not send bills to mortgage companies. Rather we make an electronic file available that mortgage companies can access and use to remit payment. Otherwise tax bill information is on our website. If a property owner believes that a mortgage company will be paying the tax bill on their behalf, they should verify this arrangement with their mortgage company.
Transferring & Refinancing Property
If you are transferring (i.e., selling) your property and your tax bill is unpaid at the time of settlement, taxes will be collected by the settlement attorney. Pursuant to Maryland State Law, all real estate taxes must be current (i.e., paid) before the deed can transfer to the new owner.
Problems may arise, most often around the time that property tax payments are due in July and December, respectively. If the original mortgage lender sent the payment, but it has not been posted to the account at the time of settlement, then payments will need to be collected at settlement in order to pay property taxes and have the deed recorded. There are 2 scenarios that effect how the overpayment would be handled:
In the event that the settlement payment is made prior to the mortgage lender (assuming the lender uses the mass payment option to pay taxes), then there is no need for the seller to request a refund from the county, because the money will automatically be returned to the lender. The seller would need to contact their lender for a refund.
In the event that the settlement payment is made after the mortgage lender, there may be a need for the seller to request a refund from the county.
The county makes every effort to avoid over payments (e.g., the settlement attorney's payment is reviewed prior to posting), and will return the check representing the overpayment to the law firm for distribution to the client. However, in some cases payments may post and be eligible for a refund. In these cases, the seller needs to provide a copy of their escrow analysis from the lender and the settlement HUD1 document as proof for requesting a refund.
In contrast to a property transfer, Maryland State law and the county do not require that property taxes must be paid if you refinance your mortgage. However, often mortgage lenders will require that property taxes must be current before the new mortgage is issued to the taxpayer.
In cases where an overpayment may have resulted from a property tax payment by both the previous and the new mortgage lender, the procedure is identical as that shown in the previous 'property transfer' section.