If you are reading this, you likely already know that our team has a strong focus on serving the public safety community through our Public Safety Rewards Program. In addition to the discounts and benefits that we, and our numerous vendors and contractors provide, there are also government programs available. Howard County recently announced a fantastic program to encourage public safety personnel to purchase homes in the county.
In the Spring of 2017 Governor Hogan signed legislation which provides a tax incentive to certain public safety personnel who purchase homes in Howard County. The bill applies to Howard County Police Officers, Deputy Sheriffs, and members of Howard County Fire and Rescue Services. The County will now waive collecting the normal transfer tax amount, which is normally levied when someone purchases a home.
If the property which is being purchased is the first home purchased in Howard County, the transfer tax is waived. If it is a second or subsequent purchase, the rate is .7%.
The usual transfer tax rate is 1%, and the usual custom in Maryland is for the buyer and seller to split the cost of the transfer taxes. Let’s look at an example:
We recently helped a Howard County Police officer purchase a home, with a sale price of $234,900. The transfer tax on that amount would normally be $2349- split evenly the amount the officer would be required to pay is $1174.50. Under the new law, a first time buyer would have saved $1174.50, and a repeat purchaser would have saved $940.
We have another Howard County Police Officer who will be settling on their new home. They will receive a $1000 commission rebate through our Public Safety Rewards Program, and save $2000 in transfer taxes from the county, and $500 in Maryland first time home buyer tax credits. Add to that the discounts from the home inspector and other participants in our program, and that is a saving of over $3500.
Thank you to Howard County for implementing this program, and providing a transfer tax credit to public safety home buyers in Howard County!