Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: HeraldMail HomeCollectionsMml

Maryland Municipal League panel seeks legislation that could save Hagerstown residents money

Councilman Martin E. Brubaker serves on the MML's double taxation work group

June 13, 2013|By HOLLY SHOK | holly.shok@herald-mail.com

A work group established by the Maryland Municipal League’s legislative committee seeks passage of statewide legislation that could result in future tax savings for Hagerstown residents, according to a city official.

Hagerstown City Councilman Martin E. Brubaker, a MML legislative committee member who serves on the double taxation work group, presented the group’s final report Tuesday during a meeting at City Hall. 

Brubaker said the work group — established this year to research legislation that would prevent double taxation on municipalities by counties — settled on a formula already in state legislative code but only applied in Anne Arundel and Howard counties.

The issue involves municipalities and their citizens getting reimbursed for the services a city or town provides and for which its citizens already pay, such as police and fire, so that a surrounding county does not tax them for the same services, Brubaker said.

Advertisement

The formulas in place to avoid double taxation vary from county to county across the state, with some counties not having a formula at all, Brubaker said. 

“Counties may not ... tax a property owner for taxes he already pays for services in the municipality,” Brubaker said of the formula the work group will recommend to the MML at its upcoming summer conference.

It will be up to the MML to adopt the group’s recommendation and make it a priority initiative for the 2014 legislative session.

“We’ve talked quietly to some legislators, and we’ve got an opinion from the attorney general that yes, indeed, that language could be made to apply statewide,” Brubaker said.

Brubaker told the mayor and council that double taxation is an “issue of conflict all over the state” between counties and municipalities. 

“I don’t know exactly, at this point, how it would affect the citizens of Hagerstown, but there’s a good chance it would lead to further tax savings. That’s where we’re trying to go, further tax savings for the residents of Hagerstown,” he said.

Mayor David S. Gysberts and council members commended Brubaker on his efforts within the work group and legislative committee.

“This is a good piece of work,” Councilman Donald F. Munson said. “As you know it’s been an ongoing issue for a long time ... if this were doable, it certainly would solve a lot of problems for municipalities.”

Brubaker agreed, calling the work group’s recommendation a simple formula that essentially says “you can’t tax somebody for something they’re already doing.”

The MML, at the Phipps Municipal Center in Annapolis, was founded in 1936, and represents 157 municipal governments and two special taxing districts throughout the state, according to previous Herald-Mail reports.

The MML is a “voluntary, nonprofit, nonpartisan association controlled and maintained by city and town governments,” which “works to strengthen and support municipal government through advocacy and the development of effective leadership,” its website said. 

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|