The Treasurer's Office is responsible for stamping every deed before it can be recorded with the Worcester County Clerk of Court. These stamps verify that all current real estate taxes and water and wastewater charges have been paid. Personal property tax is also collected at this time and may be estimated based on the prior year assessment if no assessment has been received for the current year.
The Treasurer's Office also collects County transfer tax which is calculated at one half of one percent of the consideration. The transfer tax does not apply to the first $50,000 of the consideration for a deed transferring residentially improved owner-occupied real property, provided that the property is the principal residence of the grantee and will actually be occupied by the grantee as the principal residence for at least seven months of any twelve month period. The instrument of writing must be accompanied by a statement under oath signed by the grantee that this is the case.
When properties being transferred are located in any of the four municipalities in the County, these deeds must be presented to the towns before recording. Worcester County collects real estate taxes on behalf of the Towns of Berlin, Snow Hill, Pocomoke, and Ocean City but deeds must still be stamped by each of these towns in order to verify that any other taxes or charges are current.
If a property has been flagged by the State Dept. of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) for Agricultural Transfer Tax, the deed must be presented to the SDAT for clearance before it is stamped by the Treasurer's Office.
When a property receiving a Homeowner's Tax Credit is transferred Worcester County is required to recapture all of the credit or a portion of the credit, depending on the date of transfer, unless the credit applicant is retaining a legal interest in the property (such as a life estate) and remains a resident in the property being transferred.