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Tax Cap

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NEWS
by TARA REILLY | March 29, 2006
WASHINGTON COUNTY The Washington County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to lower a tax cap on property assessments - from 10 percent to 5 percent - effective in fiscal year 2008, but a plan to issue rebate checks or credits on tax bills might be off the table. The County Commissioners instead discussed the possibility of cutting the property tax rate to provide tax relief for the coming fiscal year after County Treasurer Todd Hershey said the proposed rebates or tax credits would require a lot of administrative work.
NEWS
March 30, 2006
With the legislative equivalent of a gun to their heads, the Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday lowered the tax cap on property assessments from 10 percent to 5 percent. Now the commissioners need to take a serious look at how to keep tax bills affordable for citizens, especially those long-time residents whose salaries haven't risen as quickly as property values. The first step should be to publicize the relief that is already available. For example, the Homeowners' Property Tax Credit Program "sets a limit on the amount of property taxes any homeowner must pay based upon his or her income," according to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.
NEWS
by TAMELA BAKER | March 16, 2006
ANNAPOLIS With a bill to cap taxes on property assessments at 5 percent in Washington County facing an uncertain future, Del. Christopher B. Shank decided to negotiate with the County Commissioners to set the cap themselves. Shank, chairman of the local delegation to the General Assembly, said Wednesday that House Ways and Means Committee members were concerned the bill "establishes a precedent" of having the Legislature impose tax rates on local governments. All other tax caps in the state were set either by local governments or by voter referenda, Shank said.
NEWS
November 30, 1999
The Washington County Commissioners voted Tuesday to lower a tax cap on property assessments effective in fiscal year 2008, but plans to issue rebate checks or credits on tax bills might be off the table. Read the full story in Wednesday's Herald-Mail newspapers.
NEWS
by ANDREW SCHOTZ | February 22, 2007
Washington County's state lawmakers agreed Wednesday to file a bill to let the county change its excise-tax structure for one year. If the bill is approved, the county can lift its tax cap on new residential construction, which is $13,000 for single-family homes and $15,500 per unit for multi-family homes. The county would come up with a graduated fee system based on square footage, charging more for larger homes. The new fee structure would be in effect only for fiscal year 2008.
NEWS
by TAMELA BAKER | April 7, 2006
ANNAPOLIS - Two local business tax bills and a property tax bill were under consideration Thursday by the full Senate after being approved by the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. One is a measure to revise the county's excise tax on new development so that county officials can waive the tax for certain new businesses. The request came from the Washington County Commissioners, who wanted authority to offer exemptions as a tool to recruit new business. But since the initial request, the bill has produced some differences of opinion between lawmakers and county commissioners.
NEWS
by TAMELA BAKER | March 22, 2006
ANNAPOLIS Local legislators say they'll back down from pending state legislation to lower the county's tax rate cap if the Washington County Commissioners act next week to lower it themselves. The Washington County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly last month introduced the bill, which would lower the county's property tax cap from 10 percent to 5 percent. Delegation Chairman Christopher B. Shank said Tuesday that because "the commissioners had made it quite clear they intend to reduce the cap next week," the delegation had agreed to amend the tax cap bill to remove the mandate, and give the county government authority to issue tax rebates for this year.
NEWS
August 4, 1997
Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening has upset many Prince Georges County citizens, not only because of the financial problems he left for his successor as county executive but also for his insistence on ending non-profit groups' "casino nights" there. Now the governor seems ready to make amends. Unfortunately, he wants to do it with $250 million in state funds, in a mirror of the settlement recently bestowed on the Baltimore City school system. In Baltimore's case, the money was promised to end a lawsuit over whether children there were receiving an adequate education.
NEWS
By TIFFANY ARNOLD | April 15, 2006
WASHINGTON COUNTY If elected as a Washington County Commissioner, the country-boy-turned-businessman said his greatest challenge would be balancing big business interests with protecting the county's agricultural heritage. John F. Barr, 52, of Clear Spring, filed Thursday to run for a seat on the Washington County Commissioners. All five seats are open this election cycle. According to the Washington County Board of Elections, Barr is the seventh person to file. None of the incumbents have filed, county elections officials said Thursday.
NEWS
by TAMELA BAKER | March 6, 2006
Tax fight proves taxing Everybody's talking about potential tax cuts this year, but not necessarily to each other. Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee faced a mountain of bills aimed at lowering property taxes in various Maryland regions. Included was a bill offered by local legislators to lower Washington County's tax cap on property assessments from 10 percent to 5 percent - a bill county officials agreed to support after lawmakers had decided to file it. Before Washington County Delegation Chairman Christopher B. Shank could present the bill, the committee heard a similar bill offered by Eastern Shore Del. Michael D. Smigiel for Cecil County.
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NEWS
by ANDREW SCHOTZ | February 22, 2007
Washington County's state lawmakers agreed Wednesday to file a bill to let the county change its excise-tax structure for one year. If the bill is approved, the county can lift its tax cap on new residential construction, which is $13,000 for single-family homes and $15,500 per unit for multi-family homes. The county would come up with a graduated fee system based on square footage, charging more for larger homes. The new fee structure would be in effect only for fiscal year 2008.
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NEWS
by ANDREW SCHOTZ | February 15, 2007
ANNAPOLIS - Washington County is asking state lawmakers for permission to remove its excise-tax cap and switch from a flat rate to a variable charge. The county would switch to a progressive rate based on square footage, a draft bill says. A task force would recommend new fees for one year, starting July 1, Assistant County Attorney Kirk C. Downey said. Currently, the county's excise tax on residential new construction is $13,000 for a single-family home and $15,500 per unit for multi-family homes.
NEWS
By TIFFANY ARNOLD | April 15, 2006
WASHINGTON COUNTY If elected as a Washington County Commissioner, the country-boy-turned-businessman said his greatest challenge would be balancing big business interests with protecting the county's agricultural heritage. John F. Barr, 52, of Clear Spring, filed Thursday to run for a seat on the Washington County Commissioners. All five seats are open this election cycle. According to the Washington County Board of Elections, Barr is the seventh person to file. None of the incumbents have filed, county elections officials said Thursday.
NEWS
by TAMELA BAKER | April 7, 2006
ANNAPOLIS - Two local business tax bills and a property tax bill were under consideration Thursday by the full Senate after being approved by the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. One is a measure to revise the county's excise tax on new development so that county officials can waive the tax for certain new businesses. The request came from the Washington County Commissioners, who wanted authority to offer exemptions as a tool to recruit new business. But since the initial request, the bill has produced some differences of opinion between lawmakers and county commissioners.
NEWS
April 4, 2006
Here are some of the calls we have received lately: "To all foreign countries that hate the United States of America, why do millions of you risk your life to get here?" - Hagerstown "Have you noticed how the County Commissioners have voted 3-2 on most bills that cost you taxpayers hundreds of thousand of dollars in unnecessary spending. Snook, Kercheval and Nipps are the three that voted yea while Wivell and Munson voted nay. If you want to reduce spending, vote for Wivell and Munson.
NEWS
March 30, 2006
With the legislative equivalent of a gun to their heads, the Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday lowered the tax cap on property assessments from 10 percent to 5 percent. Now the commissioners need to take a serious look at how to keep tax bills affordable for citizens, especially those long-time residents whose salaries haven't risen as quickly as property values. The first step should be to publicize the relief that is already available. For example, the Homeowners' Property Tax Credit Program "sets a limit on the amount of property taxes any homeowner must pay based upon his or her income," according to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.
NEWS
by TAMELA BAKER | March 30, 2006
ANNAPOLIS - The Washington County Commissioners' decision to lower the property tax assessment cap "shows the discussions between the commissioners and the delegation were fruitful," the chairman of the county's delegation to the Maryland General Assembly said Wednesday. Del. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, said he was "very pleased the county commissioners acted on their own. " The delegation had forced the commissioners' hand by drafting state legislation to force the commissioners to lower the cap from 10 percent to 5 percent.
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | March 29, 2006
WASHINGTON COUNTY The Washington County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to lower a tax cap on property assessments - from 10 percent to 5 percent - effective in fiscal year 2008, but a plan to issue rebate checks or credits on tax bills might be off the table. The County Commissioners instead discussed the possibility of cutting the property tax rate to provide tax relief for the coming fiscal year after County Treasurer Todd Hershey said the proposed rebates or tax credits would require a lot of administrative work.
NEWS
by TAMELA BAKER | March 22, 2006
ANNAPOLIS Local legislators say they'll back down from pending state legislation to lower the county's tax rate cap if the Washington County Commissioners act next week to lower it themselves. The Washington County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly last month introduced the bill, which would lower the county's property tax cap from 10 percent to 5 percent. Delegation Chairman Christopher B. Shank said Tuesday that because "the commissioners had made it quite clear they intend to reduce the cap next week," the delegation had agreed to amend the tax cap bill to remove the mandate, and give the county government authority to issue tax rebates for this year.
NEWS
by TAMELA BAKER | March 16, 2006
ANNAPOLIS With a bill to cap taxes on property assessments at 5 percent in Washington County facing an uncertain future, Del. Christopher B. Shank decided to negotiate with the County Commissioners to set the cap themselves. Shank, chairman of the local delegation to the General Assembly, said Wednesday that House Ways and Means Committee members were concerned the bill "establishes a precedent" of having the Legislature impose tax rates on local governments. All other tax caps in the state were set either by local governments or by voter referenda, Shank said.
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