DORCHESTER COUNTY, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - On Monday, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan told FOX 5, “I don’t know that it is acceptable at all,” responding to reporting on a state audit recently released that confirms Maryland had been miscalculating the Homeowners’ Tax Credit for years, shortchanging taxpayers millions of dollars. Montgomery County residents were shortchanged nearly $4.5 million just last year alone, according to the audit’s findings.
The Homeowners’ Tax Credit is described as one that benefits low-income families, seniors and people who may have lost their jobs.
First reported by FOX 5’s Lindsay Watts, the report did not immediately include loss figures for other areas like Dorchester County, where we spoke with the governor on Monday, but the auditors did crunch the numbers for Montgomery County. They discovered last year alone, more than 5,000 people were shortchanged $4.4 million.
The report says individual homeowners under the age of 65 had their State and County Homeowner Tax Credits improperly reduced by up to a total of $692. Those at least 65 years old, saw losses up to a total of $1,038.
State officials have known about this miscalculation issue.
In 2017, Maryland Delegate for Montgomery County Al Carr sponsored a bill trying to get people their refunds. That bill died in the Maryland Assembly. Carr told FOX 5 he plans to introduce the bill again.
Lindsay Watts previously reached-out to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT). Watts reported on Friday, SDAT’s spokesperson would not interview, but instead responded via email. FOX 5 was told the department would adjust how the tax credit is calculated but would not offer refunds.
Hogan, while visiting the Eastern Shore on Monday, was asked, “… how is that acceptable?”
“I don’t know that it is acceptable at all,” said Governor Hogan. “And we’re going to try to get to the bottom of it. I just saw the report over the weekend. This week, we’re going to try and sit down and we’re going to get input from SDAT and from the Comptroller, from our budget secretary and figure out how it happened, number one, and how [can] we fix it, number two …”
The audit confirmed the homeowners' tax miscalculation is an issue that dates back to 2005.