8/28/2014
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Real Property Taxes

The Cecil County Finance Office maintains all tax accounts for real property located in Cecil County including billing, processing additions, abatements, transfers, address changes, tax liens, and conducts tax sale each year.  Please note that the real property tax bills include the Town taxes, if applicable. 

Property owners will receive either an Annual Property Tax bill or a Semi-Annual Property Tax bill

  • Annual property tax bills are mailed July 1 of each year.  The bill is due in July, and is payable during the month of July, August or September without interest. This bill becomes delinquent on October 1st and is subject to interest at the rate of 1% per month until paid.  Interest and penalties are calculated on the net amount of the bill after any credit is applied. If a discount is offered by the County or municipality, the discount will be reflected in the payment schedule shown on the front of the bill.
  • Semi-Annual tax bills are mailed out on July1 of each year to those that qualify for semi-annual payment.  In order to qualify for semi-annual payment the property must be owner occupied property used as the property owner's principal place of residence (see Homestead Credit).  In addition, some commercial properties qualify for semi-annual payment. The first installment is due in July, and is payable during the month of July, August or September without interest. The first installment becomes delinquent October 1st and is subject to interest at the rate of 1% per month until paid. If a discount is offered by the County or municipality, the discount will be reflected in the payment schedule shown on the front of the bill. Please note that there are two (2) coupons with this bill: the first (middle) coupon is the total annual amount and the second (bottom) coupon is semi-annual amount. You may choose to pay your bill in full by paying the annual amount or you may choose to pay only the 1st semi-annual payment. 
    • In December, you will receive a bill for the second semi-annual installment that may include any unpaid balance on the first semi-annual installment.  The second installment is due in December without interest.  This bill becomes delinquent January 1 and is subject to interest at the rate of 1% per month until paid.  Please note that the first (middle) coupon is the second half installment and the second (bottom) coupon is for any amounts still remaining due on the first semi-annual installment.  If there are no figures quoted on second (bottom) coupon, then there are no delinquencies.
  • Please be sure to send the appropriate coupon with your payment.  Payments may be made by cash, check, money order or certain credit cards.  Note that there is a third party convenience/transaction fee when paying via credit card.
  • If you do not receive a bill, please contact our office immediately or you may view your tax bill via our on-line website.  Failure to receive a bill does not relieve you of your tax liability. 
  • There is a discount on the County tax portion of the tax bill if payment is received in July.  The discount is on either the first semi-annual payment or the full payment of the bill if the payment is received in July.  The discount is 2% of the County tax portion of the bill only (Not the entire bill).  There is no discount after July.  The July discount will be shown in the payment schedule on the property tax bill.
  • You may pay your total tax bill at any time; applicable interest, penalties or discount (if offered) will be calculated according to payment date.  On March 1st, a 3% late fee will be assessed on the total of any outstanding amount due.  Effective on or after May 1st of each year, taxes must be paid by cash, cashier's check, certified check, money order or certain credit cards.  Note that there is a third party convenience/transaction fee when paying via credit card.  Properties are subject to sale for delinquent taxes if they remain unpaid at the time of the annual tax sale held in June each year.
  • In order to mail payments, please make checks payable and mail to Cecil County, 200 Chesapeake Blvd., Suite 1100, Elkton, MD  21921.  Payment may be made at the Cecil County Finance Office or via the internet (click here).  Note that there is a third party convenience/transaction fee when paying on our website. 
  • The law requires us to send tax bills directly to the property owner.  If your property taxes are put in escrow by your mortgage company, please be sure your mortgage company receives a copy of the bill.  Copies of the bills are available to the mortgage companies electronically.
  • If you own property in Cecil County, please notify our office of any address changes.  Change of Address Request form.
  • A property Tax Credit Program is available to residential homeowners who meet certain requirements.  There are also exemptions available to certain disabled people.  For further information, please contact the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (410-996-2760  or email at sdat.cec@maryland.gov).
  • The State Department of Assessments and Taxation determines the taxable assessment of your real property.  Effective July 1, 2001, the taxable assessment will be the full cash value (determined by the Assessor's Office).  It is important to verify any assessment notice(s) received from SDAT for accuracy as there is only a limited time to appeal.  For more information, please call 410-996-2760 or email at sdat.cec@maryland.gov.
  • Tax rates are set by the County Council each fiscal year.  The rates are based on $100 of assessed value (taxable assessment).  Taxes are calculated by dividing the taxable assessment by $100 and then multiplying by the tax rate.  Current Year Tax Rates per $100.
  • Properties with delinquent real estate taxes may be sold at tax sale each year.  Please pay your taxes in a timely manner to avoid this costly and inconvenient situation.
  • HALF YEAR NEW CONSTRUCTION BILLS - A half-year new construction bill is a one-time charge for new construction or other construction projects such as additions, garages and/or swimming pools.  The construction was substantially completed after the July or August tax billing, but before the following January 1.  This bill is assessed in January and is for 6 months (a half-year) taxes on the assessment increase due to the completion or substantial completion of your project.  For example, assume you had a vacant lot worth $40,000 when the July 2012 bill went out and subsequently built a new house that was substantially complete before January 1, 2013.  If the combined new assessment on your property was $140,000 ($40,000 for the land and $100,000 for the house), you would be billed in July 2012 for the lot only and in January 2013 for 6 months' worth of taxes on the house only.  In this scenario, assuming your property is not located in an incorporated town, your July 2012 tax bill would be $420.84 ($40,000 / 100 x $1.0521) for the lot and your January 2013 half-year bill would be $526.05 ($100,000 / 100 x 1.0521 / 2) for the new house.  In subsequent years, the house and lot would be combined on the July bill. 

Please note that mortgage escrow companies do not request copies of half year new construction bills and normally do not pay them.  It is up to the property owner to pay this bill or to contact their mortgage company regarding this bill.  Every year we have properties included in our tax sale because the property owners assumed their mortgage company paid this bill.

  • Returned Check Notice (Dishonored Check):  In accordance with Maryland Annotated Code Commercial Law Article § 15-802 and Maryland Annotated Code Criminal Law Article § 8-106 and § 8-107, Cecil County charges a $25.00 collection fee for any dishonored check.  The County also reserves all other rights and/or remedies afforded under the aforementioned articles.

Mailing Address Changes

In order to have your mailing address changed on your property tax bill and/or sewer bill, then please complete the Change of Address Request form and forward to our office.

 

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