Water Rate Hike in Baltimore County and the Importance of Timely Property Tax Payments

May 24, 2023

Starting July 1, Baltimore County residents will experience a 5% adjustment in water usage rates. This change, approved by the city's spending board, is a response to the region's evolving circumstances, including population growth and inflation. In light of these changes, it is also a good opportunity to remind residents about the importance of meeting property tax payment deadlines, particularly when recording deeds.

The Water Rate Adjustment

This adjustment is part of an annual recalibration of water billing rates in the county. The estimated impact of this year's adjustment is approximately $168 per year for an average household of four, continuing a trend of annual rate adjustments since 2015. The rationale given for this year's adjustment is to generate funds for maintenance and operating needs in light of increasing costs.

The water system, managed by Baltimore City's Department of Public Works, serves around 1.8 million people across various counties, including the city. Each jurisdiction within the distribution area independently sets its own water rates and fees, with the additional revenue intended to cover the county's share of operating costs.

The Role of Timely Property Tax Payments

Alongside changes in water rates, it's relevant to touch upon the timely payment of taxes and fees on real property. When recording deeds, paying by the annual deadline is crucial to avoid potential penalties and interest charges.

In Maryland, property tax due dates vary by county, but they are typically paid annually or semiannually. These payments are required by law and late payments could lead to additional costs and potential complications. The revenue from property taxes is used for a variety of local services, including schools, public safety, and infrastructure such as water and sewer systems.

What This Means for Baltimore County Residents

The water rate adjustment may require some households to adapt their budgets accordingly. Additionally, the importance of timely property tax payments remains crucial. These factors, while potentially challenging, are part of the ongoing responsibilities of property ownership.

Adjusting to changing costs, like the water rate adjustment, and keeping up with ongoing obligations, like property taxes, are part of maintaining one's property and standing in the community. It's essential to be prepared and plan accordingly to manage these responsibilities effectively.

While changes in costs and responsibilities can present challenges, Baltimore County residents are encouraged to stay informed and plan ahead. Careful planning and timely payments can help maintain your property and standing in the community during these times of adjustment.

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