About the Department of Assessments and Taxation

The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (also known as the State Department of Assessments and Taxation, or SDAT) is a customer-focused agency that works to ensure property is accurately assessed, business records are appropriately maintained, and necessary tax-related information is conveyed to state agencies and local jurisdictions. The Department's responsibilities can generally be split into three main areas: Business Services, Real Property Valuation and Property ​Tax Credits.

The Real Property Valuation Division values more than two million residential and commercial property accounts throughout the state. Those values are then certified to local governments, which use the assessments to collect property taxes. The Department is committed to ensuring uniform and accurate assessments statewide, as well as providing a fair and prompt appeal process.

The Business Services Division is comprised of the Business Charter, Business Property, and Property Tax Cr​edit Units. The Business Charter Unit helps create businesses and ensures that the documents they file meet the requirements of Maryland law. The Business Property Unit values items that businesses own, lease, or use in order to operate and are subject to taxation by local jurisdictions. The Property Tax Credit Unit helps administer certain tax credits, including the Homeowners'​ Tax Credit, the Renters'​ Tax Credit, and the Homestead Tax Credit.​

​Real Property Valuation​​​ ​​​​Division

Real property is reassessed on a three-year cycle by reviewing one-third of all property in Maryland every year. The review includes an exterior physical inspection of the property. The Real Property Valuation Division participates in all appeals court proceedings where assessment questions are involved.

Assessments are certified by the Department to local governments where they are converted into property tax bills by applying the appropriate property tax rates. An assessment is based on an appraisal of the fair market value of the property. An appraisal is an estimate of value. There are three accepted approaches to market value: (1) the sales approach; (2) the cost approach; (3) the income approach. While differing in the method of calculation each approach is designed to indicate the property’s fair market value. The property tax is primarily a local government revenue. Counties and cities depend on the property tax and a portion of the income tax to make up their budgets.

For questions regarding Real Property Valuation and a specific address, contact your Local Assessment Office.

​Business Services Division​

The Business Services Division is comprised of the Business Charter, Business Property, and Property Tax Cr​edit Units.

The Corporate Charter/Charter Legal Review Unit is custodian of documents relating to the organization and ownership of many types of business entities that are required to file documents with the State. These documents include charters for Maryland corporations and qualifications and registrations for foreign corporations. The unit is also the custodian of security interest (UCC) filings.

Charter Legal processes ground rent redemptions. Under this program homeowners can redeem the ground rents on their residencies where the ground rent holder can not be located. The unit also implemented a ground rent registration system where ground rent lease holders can register their ground rents with the State.

Business Property oversees the annual reassessment of operating property of railroads and public utilities and personal property of businesses. Property tax reports are filed with, and reviewed by, the Division annually. Thereafter, the values are certified to the subdivisions so that they may issue tax bills.

The Division administers franchise taxes applicable to the gross receipts of public service corporations.

This Division also administers the Enterprise Zone Property Tax Credit Program designed to promote economic development. It reimburses local subdivisions for one-half of the property tax credits granted to businesses which relocate or expand in certain designated geographic areas within the State.

The Property Tax Credit Unit administers three residential tax credit programs, the Homeowners' and Renters' Tax Credits, and the Homestead Property Tax Credit. Homeowners' and Renters' Property Tax Credit Programs provide more than $53 million in State-funded property tax credits to homeowners and renters who qualify based on an income test. The Homeowners' Program is available to all homeowners in Maryland, regardless of age, while the Renters' Program applies to renters aged 60 or over; the permanently disabled; and renters who are under age 60, with dependent children.

The Homestead Property Tax Credit was established to help homeowners deal with large assessment increases on their principal residence. Every county and municipality in Maryland is required to limit taxable assessment increases to 10% or less each year via the Homestead Credit program. To prevent improper granting of this credit on rented or multiple properties of a single owner, a law enacted in 2007 requires all homeowners to submit a one-time application to establish eligibility for the credit. The application form was included in the assessment notice mailed to one-third of the homeowners at the end of December for the three years beginning in 2007 and in a series of three special mailings to existing credit recipients not yet filing an application. The application is also mailed to new purchasers of residential property.

Office of Information Technology​​

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) is responsible for producing and maintaining all of the Department's computer information systems. This includes responsibility for 25 local area networks, over 600 personal computers, an interactive telephone data system, and mainframe and LAN databases at 26 sites around the State. OIT also manages data flow to and from local governments and other State agencies.

Accessibility: This website has been designed with consideration to web assistive technology in compliance with the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) Some of the links in this website will cause new browser windows to open. Accessibility resources available through the Maryland Technology Assistance Program​.​

Anti-Virus Security Statement: It is the policy of the Office of Information Technology​ of the Department of Assessments and Taxation to utilize the highest level of anti-virus protection possible to provide a secure environment for the exchange of information and ideas. Although no protection is absolutely foolproof, the Department employs state of the art software to protect its networks from infection by viruses from Internet downloads or incoming e-mails. This protection is also designed to prevent the passing through of viruses from the Department’s e-mail system to outside recipients. Our detection software is updated on a daily basis with the latest virus signature files. Attachments with specific extensions are prohibited from being received into our e-mail system. The Department also receives security alerts from the State security office. These alerts are immediately reviewed and the appropriate actions are initiated.

Our Customer Service Promise​​

Changing Maryland for the Better logo​Below please find the Customer Service Promise, a series of key principles that serves as the basis of all interactions between state employees and their customers.

The State of Maryland pledges to provide constituents, businesses, customers, and stakeholders with services in the following manner:

  • Friendly and Courteous: We will be helpful and supportive and have a positive attitude and passion for what we do. Timely and Responsive: We will be proactive, take initiative, and will try to anticipate your needs.
  • Accurate and Consistent: We will always aim for 100% accuracy, and be consistent in how we interpret and implement State policies and procedures.
  • Accessible and Convenient: We will continue to simplify and improve access to information and resources.
  • Truthful and Transparent: We will advance a culture of honesty, clarity, and trust.
  • Resolution: We will inform constituents clearly and concisely and provide assistance in a timely manner.
Please use the​ following form​ to provide more detailed information about your customer service needs, and a state employee will respond in a timely and responsive manner.

SDAT Customer Service Overview
FY21 Customer Service Annual Report​

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