When Allan Kittleman ran for County Executive in 2014, one of the central themes of his campaign was to improve the services seniors receive from Howard County government and to implement programs that make it easier for seniors to age in place.
Today, Howard County is home to over 60,000 residents over the age of 65, many of which have reached out to the County Executive at town hall meetings or through social media to express concern about the rising costs of living in Howard County.
“Not only do Seniors play a vital role in supporting our local economy, but they also add tremendous value to our communities. As long as I’m County Executive, I will continue to strengthen the services delivered to our seniors and implement programs that make it easier for them to live in here in Howard County.” – Allan Kittleman
Three programs – the expansion of the Livable Homes Tax Credit, the expansion of the Senior Tax Credit, and the new Aging-In-Place Tax Credit – are tangible examples how the Kittleman Administration is serving Howard County’s senior population.
The Livable Homes Tax Credit may have been first enacted in 2012 to assist seniors and individuals with disabilities by providing a tax credit for the cost of installation of accessibility features in existing owner-occupied residences, but it was Allan Kittleman who proposed doubling the credit up to $2,500 per year.
Seniors can use this tax credit for projects that improve the safety of their existing homes such as the construction of accessible pathways, railings to hallways, installing slip resistant flooring, and stair design.
Expansion of the Senior Tax Credit
In 2017, the county council unanimously passed Allan Kittleman’s proposal to lower the age eligibility of the Senior Tax Credit from 70 to 65. As a result, now approximately 40,000 eligible homeowners can claim a 25% credit on their property tax bill after other credits have been applied.
The Aging-in-Place Tax Credit is a recently enacted relief package aimed to help seniors live in Howard County as they age. The credit makes available 20% of assessed property value up to $500,000 and after other credits calculate. Eligible residents under this new program are at least 65 years old and have lived in the same dwelling for at least the preceding 40 years OR are at least 65 years old and is a retired member of the Armed Forces of the United States with at least twenty years of service.
Please note however that some restrictions do apply and that homeowners interested in determining whether to pursue one or more of these credits should seek the advice of a certified tax professional.
The Kittleman Administration’s Tax Credit Central
“We know how confusing it can be to figure out whether you qualify for one of our many tax credits where to find the application for each. [Tax Credit Central] will make it easier for residents to see if they qualify for some of our new and expanded tax credits and improve the application process.” – Allan Kittleman
As part of the Kittleman Administration’s ongoing effort to make Howard County government’s service and operations more transparent, senior leaders took the additional step to publish a new interactive website called Tax Credit Central.
This website exists to make tax credit information more accessible to residents and can help individuals both apply for credits as well as determine eligibility standards. Howard County is one of the first counties in Maryland to offer a centralized, online clearinghouse for this purpose.
Expect the Kittleman Administration to keep its focus on Howard County’s senior population. Statistically, Howard County’s population is getting older, not younger. Recent reports predict 18 percent of the county’s residents will be 65 years or older by in 2025, and 22% percent by 2035. Since taking office, Kittleman has created or expanded seven tax credit programs several of which are geared toward older population and retired military members.
For more information on these and other available tax credits available through Howard County Government, please contact (410) 313-2013 or county’s Department of Finance’s website at https://www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/Finance