Baltimore News

Baltimore's impending tax sale worries owners about payments amid the COVID-19 pandemic

BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Thousands of homeowners in Baltimore City have been unable to pay their property taxes since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Ray Thompson said his home means a lot to him. He said his parents worked hard over 60 years ago to buy the house he and his sister live in today.

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"My father was a mechanic, my mother cleaned houses," he said.

Since Thompson can't afford to pay his property taxes, he's likely to lose it all.

"Without the pandemic, I could probably work part-time," he said. "I could be homeless as far as I know."

Baltimore City uses the tax sales system. So if taxes are not paid every year, the city will list your home for sale.

"Over 3,500 homeowners are on the tax sales list this year," said Margaret Henn, attorney with the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service.

Baltimore City Council members urge city leaders to take action.

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"We urge the mayor and the Treasury Department to pull homeowners out of this year's tax sale," said Odette Ramos, councilor for Baltimore.

Last year the city extended the tax sale from May to July due to COVID, but this year the tax sale is still scheduled for May.

"There is no protection for people who could lose their home through tax foreclosure," said Henn.

In a statement to WJZ, Mayor Brandon Scott said he was working "to review all viable options for the upcoming tax lien sale," adding that he "is committed to finding a way forward over the coming weeks." gives priority to homeowners in Baltimore in our hardest hit country. " Communities. "

But with a foreclosure notice, Thompson is among the thousands who fear losing their home soon.

"It would be really heartbreaking," said Thompson.

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