BALTIMRE - When the holiday lights go out, the bills start piling up. So any financial break is important to turn those lights on next year.
"I've been a homeowner for like over 30 years so I definitely want my money," said Angela Robinson, who owns a home in Highlandtown.
Don't we all. The Homestead Tax Credit went into effect in the 70's. The state law put a cap on the annual property tax increase, but it's only good for your main home not a beach home or a rental property.
"We have plenty of ineligible properties getting credits that they're not entitled to," said Michael Griffin, Associate Dir, Dept. of Assessments and Taxation
So five years ago, lawmakers came up with another plan - a one-time application to update the database and cut out the fraud.
"People's Republic of Maryland, our governor likes to tax. And sometimes he'll do it without even telling us about it," said John Buch, who owns a home in Towson
"Everybody has gotten at least two applications mailed directly to their premise address," said Griffin.
We've had five years to fill out a short application, but four days out and a half million Marylanders are in jeopardy of losing hundreds or thousands of dollars.
“I have not already signed up," said Buch.
Buch is filling out his application on Friday.
"A lot of people didn't realize that you had to fill it out this year. They didn't listen to the news. I did hear about it on the news, also," said Robinson.
The savings on next year's tax bill will end if the application is not filled out by December 31st. You can log on to see if and when you were approved.
"I pray that they find out about it and get it because they're really going to miss it," said Robinson.
If you or someone you know forgets the end of the year deadline, you'll lose out on next year's credit. But the law allows you to apply at any time and get credit for the following year.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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