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Property Tax Assistance in Delaware and Maryland: An Overview

January 3, 2024

Property taxes can be a significant expense for homeowners, especially for those on a fixed income or with limited financial resources. To address this, both Delaware and Maryland offer property tax assistance programs, although the specifics vary between the two states. In this article, we will explore the property tax assistance programs available in Delaware's Kent and Sussex counties, and Maryland's Worcester County. 


Delaware's Property Tax Assistance Programs 


Kent County, Delaware 


Kent County in Delaware offers tax exemptions for elderly and disabled residents. To qualify for these exemptions, applicants must meet certain age, income, residency, and disability criteria. The application is available on the Kent County, DE website at Microsoft Word - APPLICATION FOR EXEMPTION FROM PROPERTY TAXES.doc (kentcountyde.gov).


Elderly Tax Exemption: 

  • Age Requirement: 65 or older by May 31. 
  • Income Limits: $18,000 for single applicants; $24,750 for married couples. 
  • Residency: Must have lived in Delaware for five years, and in the property for at least one year prior to April 30, 2021. 
  • Application Deadline: April 30. 


Disability Tax Exemption:

  • Proof of 100% disability through a physician statement or Social Security/Veterans Administration award letter. 
  • Not required annually after initial documentation. 
  • All taxes and fees must be paid in full before the application deadline. 


Application Process:

  • Provide proof of age (for elderly exemption) or disability. 
  • Include a copy of the 2020 federal income tax return. 
  • Ensure receipt of application by Kent County by the deadline. 
  • Contact the county Assessment Office for more information. 


Sussex County, Delaware 


Sussex County offers various tax assistance programs for seniors, disabled individuals, and other residents. You must request these credits using a form provided by the county on their website.  



State Senior Citizen School Property Tax Credit: 

  • Delaware residency (with valid driver’s license) of three years prior to July 1 (or 10 years for those domiciled after January 1, 2018). 
  • Application Deadline: April 30. 


Exemption for Disabled and Over 65: 

  • Must be totally disabled or Age 65 and a full-time resident of Sussex County for the preceding 5 years as of July 1, 2024.
  • Income limits (exclusive of Social Security): $6,000 for single, $7,500 if married. 
  • Exemption applied to up to $12,500 of assessed value. 
  • Filing dates: January 1 through April 30, 2024. 


Sussex County Property Tax Subsidy

  • Residency and income requirements apply. 
  • Application Deadline: September 30, 2025. 


Disabled Veterans School Tax Credit: 

  • Totally Disabled  
  • Full-time Delaware residency of three years. 
  • Full credit towards property taxes, with certain exclusions. 


Maryland’s Property Tax Assistance Programs 


Worcester County, Maryland 


The State of Maryland has implemented a Homeowners' Property Tax Credit Program to aid residents whose property taxes exceed a certain percentage of their gross income. 


Eligibility Requirements: 


  • Ownership or legal interest in the property. 
  • Principal residence requirement. 
  • Net worth (excluding property and certain accounts) must be less than $200,000. 
  • Combined gross household income limit of $60,000. 


Credit Calculation: 

  • Based on the amount by which property taxes exceed a percentage of income. 
  • Credits are calculated using a specified formula based on household income.


Application and Deadlines: 

  • Tax credit applications must be filed by April 15 for direct bill adjustment, or by October 1 for a revised bill or refund. 
  • Applicants are informed in writing if not qualified and can appeal the decision. 
  • For further inquiries, contact Maryland's Homeowners' Tax Credit Program. 


Both Delaware and Maryland offer property tax relief programs, but they differ in eligibility criteria, benefits, and application processes. Delaware's programs, particularly in Kent and Sussex Counties, focus on elderly and disabled residents with specific income and residency requirements. Maryland's program is broader, considering the homeowner's income and the property's assessed value. Homeowners in these states should carefully review the eligibility criteria and application deadlines to take advantage of these tax relief opportunities.


While the focus of this article is on the areas in which we have the largest amount of readership, there are programs available in most states for assistance. Please contact your local government for details.


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