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Bills that affect Washington County

April 11, 2006|by TAMELA BAKER

General Assembly action that specifically affects Washington County included:

Money:

  • Nearly $5 million approved for school construction

  • $400,000 for the Richard A. Henson Family YMCA in Hagerstown, for a new 9,000-square-foot youth and family gymnasium with a youth wellness center

  • $250,000 for the proposed stadium at North Hagerstown High School

  • $94,000 in planning money for a central booking facility for local police agencies

  • $100,000 for a third building at the Washington County Rural Heritage Museum near Sharpsburg

  • $50,000 to upgrade the 1950 elevator at Discovery Station in Hagerstown.

  • $50,000 to replace exercise equipment for the Police Athletic League


Local bills:

  • Excise tax - Revision will give the county the option to exempt new business from the tax on new development and require the county to exempt additions to existing businesses up to 50,000 square feet.

  • Property taxes - The Washington County Delegation pressed the County Commissioners to lower the property tax cap from 10 percent to 5 percent by filing a bill to force the cut, but after the commissioners opted to lower the cap themselves, amended the bill to simply authorize the commissioners to issue tax credits this year

  • Credit for new jobs - Legislation expands existing tax credits for businesses that create new jobs to include contract workers employed for a year or more. To qualify for the credits, new or expanding businesses must create at least 25 new full-time positions.

  • Probation for deputies - Legislation allows the Washington County Sheriff to extend the probationary status of new deputies beyond one year.


Correctional officers:

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  • Salary increases begin April 15; cost of living adjustments are effective July 1

  • 160 new positions statewide; 23 earmarked for Hagerstown facilities

  • Expanded death benefits for families of officers killed in the line of duty

  • Retired correctional officers may be rehired to ease staffing gaps
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