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O'Malley signs new Md. excise tax into law

May 15, 2008|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

A new structure for Washington County's excise tax was one of several local bills signed into state law Tuesday.

The county started the process of changing its excise tax on new construction last year, when it received legislative permission to replace its flat fee with a fee based on square footage.

This year's bill completed the process by setting caps for different categories of construction.

The new excise tax takes effect July 1.

Other local bills that Gov. Martin O'Malley signed into law Tuesday:

· Clarify that Hagerstown's fire marshals have law enforcement powers (sponsored by Del. John P. Donoghue, cross-filed by Sen. Donald F. Munson).

· Eliminate a requirement that public schools always have an engineer on duty when low-pressure boilers are in use and the school building is open (sponsored by Del. Richard B. Weldon Jr.).

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· Provide funding for the Medbank of Maryland Program (sponsored by Donoghue).

· Give subpoena power to the state prosecutor, who investigates allegations of official misconduct and violations of ethics and election laws (co-sponsored by Del. Christopher B. Shank).

· Transfer the authority to fill Washington County Board of Education vacancies from the governor to the Washington County Commissioners (sponsored by the Washington County delegation).

· Set the dimensions for Maryland's motorcycle license plates at 7 inches wide and 4 inches high (sponsored by Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr.).

· Let sidewalk cafés serve alcohol in Hagerstown and let catering businesses serve alcohol off site (sponsored by Washington County delegation).

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