Transfer, Recordation Tax

Havre de Grace Middle-High School under construction

Harford imposes a transfer tax and recordation tax whenever a property is transferred. The taxes are distributed to land preservation, schools and other projects.

Transfer tax

The transfer tax is imposed at the rate of 1% of the consideration payable for instruments of writing recorded with the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Harford County or filed with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation. Proceeds of the tax are distributed evenly, 50% to agricultural land preservation and 50% to school site acquisitions, school construction, or school debt.

Before a property can be transferred in Harford County, a lien certificate is required. Lien sheet applications can be found on the Certificate of Tax Lien Page.

Recordation tax

Recordation taxes are assessed at the rate of $6.60 per $1,000 value of recorded instruments filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Harford County.

Of this assessed amount, $4.40 is dedicated first to school debt service, then new school construction, major and capital improvements to existing school facilities and portable classrooms; $1.10 is dedicated to an open space land and recreational fund for the purchase of park lands and development of parks and recreation facilities; and $1.10 is dedicated for implementation of local watershed protection and restoration projects.

Harford County must stamp every deed before it can be recorded at the Harford County Courthouse, regardless if taxes must be paid. For properties in Aberdeen, Bel Air or Havre de Grace, the deed must be stamped by the respective municipality before it is sent to the county’s Bureau of Revenue Collections.

All documents, including the Maryland State Intake Sheet, must be dropped off at the Revenue Collections Office and will typically have a 24-48 hour turn around period. Payments for recordation taxes should be made payable to “Harford County, Maryland.” The Harford County Revenue Collections Office, at 220 S. Main Street in Bel Air, is open Monday through Friday, 8 to 5 p.m.