Owners of homes and businesses that were damaged or destroyed during tropical storm Isabel will get a partial refund from Baltimore County on their property taxes.
"Residents shouldn't have to study the Maryland code to realize what is owned to them in an emergency," said County Executive Jim Smith in a statement. "Baltimore County government can cut the red tape and get disaster victims the money they need in a hurry."
Inspectors with the county Department of Permits and Development Management has compiled a list of damaged sites, which state assessors will visit this week.
After a two-week review period, the assessors will tell the county who is entitled to the rebates.
The rebate on property owners' most recent tax payment will equal three-quarters of the difference between the pre-storm assessed value and the post-storm assessed value.
- Virginia Terhune
Permit fees waived to spur reconstruction after storm
Property owners seeking to rebuild homes, businesses, piers and bulkheads after tropical storm Isabel will save time and money as a result of a Baltimore County decision to waive permitting fees and expedite applications.
"These people are facing an uphill battle as it is to put their lives back together," said County Executive James Smith in a statement. "We want to be part of the solution, not add to their obstacles."
The county is waiving permit fees to replace and repair homes, piers and bulkheads. Inspections of the work will still be done, however, and property owners must also comply with federal flood plain requirements.
The county is also eliminating the wait for reviews by the Army Corps of Engineers and Maryland Department of the Environment in cases where property owners plan to replace or repair within an existing footprint.
As long as the new structure is not larger than the previous one, the owner can receive a permit the same day he or she applies.
"We have cases where the shoreline is washing into the bay," said Department of Permits, Development and Management Director Tim Kotroco. "We want people to (repair and replace) as quickly as possible."
The Corps and MDE, however, will continue to review any planned expansions beyond the original footprint of homes, piers or bulkheads, a process which can take weeks or months.
For more information, call PDM at 410-887-3900 in Towson or talk with a department representative at the temporary disaster recovery center at 801 Back River Neck Road in Essex.
_ Virginia Terhune