Two new proposed pieces of legislation in Howard County could increase the recordation tax (CR85-2020) and transfer tax (CR84-2020) paid by home buyers and sellers in Howard County. I wanted to look at what Howard County pays today in taxes, a look at surrounding jurisdictions and what Howard County might pay in the future (in taxes) when purchasing or selling a home if both pieces of legislation are passed.

I am going to look a 4 scenarios…a purchase of a $250,000 home, $400,000 home, a $750,000 home and a $1,200,000 home:

For a $250,000 home here are the taxes (transfer and recordation) for Howard County and surrounding areas:

County: Total taxes (County Recordation Tax | County Transfer Tax | State Transfer Tax)

  • Howard: $5,000 ($1,250| $2,500 | $1,250)
  • Montgomery: $5,085 ($1,335 | $2,500 | $1,250)
  • Prince George’s: $6,125 ($1,375 | $3,500 | $1,250)
  • Anne Arundel: $5,500 ($1,750 | $2,500 | $1,250)
  • Baltimore Co: $6,250 ($1,250 | $3,750 | $1,250)
  • Balimore City: $7,500 ($2,500 | $3,750 | $1,250)
  • Carroll Co: $3,750 ($2,500 | $0 | $1,250)
  • Howard New: $6,000 ($1,000 | $3,750 | $1,250)

For a $400,000 home here are the taxes (transfer and recordation) for Howard County and surrounding areas:

County: Total taxes (County Recordation Tax | County Transfer Tax | State Transfer Tax)

  • Howard: $8,000 ($2,000 | $4,000 | $2,000)
  • Montgomery: $8,670 ($2,670 | $4,000 | $2,000)
  • Prince George’s: $9,800 ($2,200 | $5,600 | $2,000)
  • Anne Arundel: $8,800 ($2,800 | $4,000 | $2,000)
  • Baltimore Co: $10,000 ($2,000 | $6,000 | $2,000)
  • Balimore City: $12,000 ($4,000 | $6,000 | $2,000)
  • Carroll Co: $6,000 ($4,000 | $0 | $2,000)
  • Howard New: $10,500 ($2,500 | $6,000 | $2,000)

For a $750,000 home here are the taxes (transfer and recordation) for Howard County and surrounding areas:

County: Total taxes (County Recordation Tax | County Transfer Tax | State Transfer Tax)

  • Howard: $15,000 ($3,750 | $7,500 | $3,750)
  • Montgomery: $18,185 ($6,935 | $7,500 | $3,750)
  • Prince George’s: $18,375 ($4,125 | $10,500 | $3,750)
  • Anne Arundel: $16,500 ($5,250 | $7,500 | $3,750)
  • Baltimore Co: $18,750 ($3,750 | $11,250 | $3,750)
  • Balimore City: $22,500 ($7,500 | $11,250 | $3,750)
  • Carroll Co: $11,250 ($7,500 | $0 | $3,750)
  • Howard New: $22,500 ($7,500 | $11,250 | $3,750)

For a $1,200,000 home here are the taxes (transfer and recordation) for Howard County and surrounding areas:

County: Total taxes (County Recordation Tax | County Transfer Tax | State Transfer Tax)

  • Howard: $24,000 ($6,000 | $12,000 | $6,000)
  • Montgomery: $31,010 ($13,010 | $12,000 | $6,000)
  • Prince George’s: $29,400 ($6,600 | $16,800 | $6,000)
  • Anne Arundel: $26,400 ($8,400 | $12,000 | $6,000)
  • Baltimore Co: $30,000 ($6,000 | $18,000 | $6,000)
  • Balimore City: $36,000 ($12,000 | $18,000 | $6,000)
  • Carroll Co: $18,000 ($12,000 | $0 | $6,000)
  • Howard New: $39,900 ($15,900 | $18,000 | $6,000)

Here are my sources for the information noted above:

All current information on taxes was acquired from: http://www.anytimeestimate.com/TITLE_INSURANCE/md-title-insurance.htm

* Baltimore County Transfer Tax is 1.5% so I had to adjust the information from the website in my data above

Howard New data:

If you see anything not accurate in my calculations please feel free to let me know and I will update my data above.

Interesting observations:

  • For a home at $250,000 – Howard County would move from the 2nd least amount of taxes to the 4th highest in the area (behind PG and Baltimore County and City)
  • For a home at $400,000 – Howard County would move from the 2nd least amount of taxes to the 2nd highest (behind only Baltimore City)
  • For a home at $750,000 – Howard County would from the 2nd least amount of taxes to tied for the highest (tied with Baltimore City)
  • For a home at $1.2 million – Howard county would move from the 2nd least amount of taxes to the highest.

How heavy a tax burden is already on residents of Howard County?

  • Howard County has the 2nd highest property tax rate (including fire tax) and the highest personal income tax rate allowed by the State. The recordation tax is at the lowest rate in the State and the transfer tax is below four other counties.
  • The County recently increased the fire tax and trash fee, imposed a new ambulance fee (the revenues are restricted for specific uses), and increased the School Surcharge (restricted for school capital projects).
  • The County recently approved a Plastic Bag fee that will begin in October 2020 (restricted for “environmental” purposes).

I expect the discussion on both pieces of legislation noted in this article to be interesting.

Scott E

2 COMMENTS

  1. Point of correction.
    In tax burden area, you state that Howard County has the lowest tax (currently) in recordation. I think that title goes to Caroll County. 0 being lower tax rate than the current HOCO one.

    Seems this is a race to tax the fleeing populace who realized the Columbia scam going on. This CE on one hand is creating fake legislation to appeal to renters and on the other hand is on max throttle to be the no.1 title in taxation rates of MD.
    Personally i just learned HOCO taxes the maximum MD personal income rate allowed. Shocking to learn. How is this one of the best places to live with such stats?

    • On the item about Carroll County…I think you mean Transfer Tax and not Recordation Tax. Carroll has one of the highest county Recordation tax rates in the state. Carroll County has $0 for Transfer Tax.

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