Media Contacts: Deidre McCabe, Director of Strategic Planning and Communications, 410-313-4023 Stanley Milesky, Director of Department of Finance, 410-313-2195
ELLICOTT CITY, MD – The Howard County Department of Finance accepts prepayment of county property taxes. Tax payers must specify such payments are intended as prepayment of their future tax obligations.
Residents are requesting prepayment of county taxes based on recent changes affecting the federal property tax deduction passed earlier this week by the United States Congress, said Finance Director Stanley Milesky. The county will accept prepayments by December 31, but Milesky cautions it is unclear whether there will be tax benefits in making prepayments.
“In the coming months, the Internal Revenue Service will develop regulations regarding the tax changes,” said Milesky. “We don’t know if the IRS will allow residents who make the prepayments to have the tax benefits they are seeking,” Milesky said.
County Executive Allan H. Kittleman agreed it is unknown what benefit, if any, would come from prepayment of property taxes for 2018.
“We don’t know what the outcome will be, and we’re not encouraging anyone to do this,” said Kittleman. “We simply want to inform those who want to prepay that our finance department will hold prepaid taxes in escrow.”
Pending changes to the federal tax plan have prompted residents to consider prepayment of local property taxes. The new tax plan passed by Congress could take effect as early as January 1, 2018 and could cap deductions for state and local property taxes at $10,000.
Howard County’s property tax bills will go out July 1, 2018 and are due September 30, although residents have the option of making payments in two installments. Milesky said about 80 percent of county residents have their property taxes paid through their mortgage companies.
Some residents believe prepaying property taxes before the new law takes effect could ultimately save them money, but the actual impact will not be clear for months, said Milesky.
He urged residents considering prepayment to consult their tax professionals, adding the county’s Finance Department cannot offer advice on the issue. Interested residents should check the Department of Finance website at www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/Finance or call customer service at 410-313-2062.