MARYLAND

Montgomery County tax break take-back

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Every year, Vernon Myers looks forward to the small homeowner’s tax credit he gets from Montgomery County.

“As I recall it was about $200 or $300,” he says.

He’s lived in his Rockville home since 1988. Luckily, he’ll get to keep his tax credit this year, but that’s not the case for roughly 2,000 other Montgomery County homeowners.

“We recognized over the years some people who are claiming the credit but are not eligible for it,” says Joseph Beach, director of the Montgomery County Department of Finance.

Beach says homeowners who rent Montgomery County houses don’t qualify for the homeowner’s tax credit, but often claim it anyway by mistake. On average, it's about an extra $700 for each owner.

Now the county plans to recoup those funds by sending letters requesting the money be returned.

“We’ve identified roughly $5 million in potential taxes we could take,” says Beach.

Mary Ann Dolans is the woman behind the project. Since last summer, she’s been working around the clock to figure out which homeowners are making fraudulent claims. She says $134,000 has come in from bills that were sent.

The county hopes to recover more than $5 million in mistaken tax credits and when the county already faces huge budget gaps, Myer says he’d glad to know the county is diligent about its bottom line.

“Every little bit helps,” he says.

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