Princess Anne homeowners 70 and older can apply for $500 property tax credit

Crisfield-Somerset County Times
Posted 10/18/21

PRINCESS ANNE — Homeowners at least 70 years old and older are now able to receive a property tax credit of up to $500 off their municipal real estate taxes funded through the American Rescue …

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Princess Anne homeowners 70 and older can apply for $500 property tax credit

Posted

PRINCESS ANNE — Homeowners at least 70 years old and older are now able to receive a property tax credit of up to $500 off their municipal real estate taxes funded through the American Rescue Plan.

The Town Commissioners approved a resolution establishing the tax credit for one year only and prior to its adoption last week raised the amount from $200 to $500.

The program is intended to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on senior citizens who live in a home that is their primary residence. Only one tax credit per household will be granted for fiscal year 2022 and applications are due before the end of the calendar year.

If taxes have been paid the town finance department will reimburse the property owner.

"This is a one-time tax credit as of right now," Commissioner Vice President Garland Hayward said, and town attorney Paul Wilber said it would require another vote next year if it was to continue into FY23.

The resolution as originally drafted was to provide for a $200 tax credit and that was the number approved by consensus at the September work session, however, Commissioner President Lionel Frederick encouraged the board to raise it to $500.

Brandi Bozman, finance administrator, said based on Census data if $500 is used the most this is projected to cost is $126,000 but as Mr. Frederick said it is unlikely all of those individuals are principal homeowners.

"It should be a lot less," said Commissioner Orlondo Taylor, who motioned for the higher number, seconded by Mr. Hayward. Absent was Commissioner Marshall Corbin.

Commissioner Joey Gardner, while not dissenting, questioned raising the amount now when the exact number of eligible homeowners was not known. He said leaving it at $200 will establish a baseline and give the commissioners more accurate information on whether $500, or even $1,000 might be the right number next year.

"I want it to be successful," he said.

Somerset Avenue homeowner Skip Colborn expressed his appreciation to the board but said after taxes were raised this year it will help cover those costs. "I don’t consider myself elderly yet," he said, "but $500 is going to help." He said one concern is setting up a false hope for residents for the following year, who will have an "Uh oh" surprise if the credit goes away.

To be eligible a property owner had to be 70 by the start of FY22 which was July 1. Contact the town office at 410-651-1818 for details on the application process.

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP), signed into law in March by President Joe Biden, can be used to mitigate economic impacts, cover revenue losses and/or provide premium pay to essential workers all affected by the coronavirus pandemic. It can also be used for public health related expenses, and cover the cost of various infrastructure improvements. The town is receiving a grand total of $1.875 million with half already in hand. The money must be spent by the end of calendar year 2024.

Crisfield for many years has provided a $100 real estate tax credit for its senior homeowners age 70 and older.