Effective July 1st, 2000, a semi-annual tax payment schedule became mandatory for all owner-occupied residential property owners in the State of Maryland. Taxpayers may opt to pay annually, but they must notify their lender prior to May 1st of their intention. The County and the mortgage lenders will assume that taxes are being paid semi-annually unless the taxpayer notifies their mortgage lender that they want to pay annually. It is not necessary to notify the County; the County will accept either an annual or semi-annual payment. Semi-annual tax payments are due in two installments; the first on September 30th and the second on December 31st. While there is no service charge associated with the semi-annual program, if a semi-annual payment becomes delinquent, interest and penalty charges are calculated on the amount of the delinquent payment beginning the day after it was due (e.g., if first installment payment was not made by September 30th, interest and penalties will accrue starting October 1st).