Lawmakers to meet public

December 27, 2002|by LAURA ERNDE

WASHINGTON COUNTY - The public is invited to speak to Washington County lawmakers on Saturday, Jan. 4, about issues they will face during the upcoming 90-day legislative session.

Local lawmakers will meet in the auditorium of South Hagerstown High School from 10 a.m. to noon.

The Maryland General Assembly convenes Jan. 8.

Lawmakers said the biggest problem they will be confronted with this session is a $1.7 billion budget shortfall over the next two years.

Locally, they may also be asked to support some type of tax or fee increase to help the Washington County Commissioners better manage growth.


Options include a transfer tax on the sale of property, an excise tax on building or an impact fee on new development.

The Washington County Commissioners have not yet submitted a proposal to the Washington County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly.

The commissioners need legislative authority before they can enact those types of taxes or fees.

Last session, the delegation rejected the idea of a 1 percent transfer tax.

Local lawmakers may also pursue state legislation to:

  • Resolve an ongoing dispute between Hagerstown and Washington County government over the city's annexation policy.

  • More closely regulate massage parlors to prevent them from being used as fronts for prostitution rings.

  • Require the Washington County Health System Board of Directors to include a Hagerstown government representative.

  • Toughen the penalties on people who violate the county's animal control laws.
The Herald-Mail Articles