It has been a busy session down here in Annapolis. The good news is that HB 1628 was defeated in my Ways & Means committee. This was the new tax bill that would have put a sales tax on everyday services such as haircuts, car repairs, legal fees, real estate transactions and so much more.
We had over 100 people testified AGAINST the tax increase at our Monday bill hearing and only five testified in favor of this bill. I am very confident that we killed this bill as a result of your emails and calls. Thank you for your hard work.
I also would like to thank the Republicans in my committee for fighting against this bill.
The bad news is there are many more tax proposals still alive this session. We can be proud of killing this bill, but the battle for stopping tax increases is far from over.
My Legislative Update
One area that I have focused on every session is improving our neighborhoods. I had two pieces of legislation that were introduced in Baltimore County Delegation. I know the best way to improve our community is to promote homeownership.
The first bill was HB 110 Baltimore County — Homestead Property Tax Credit Notice — Lead Registry and Code Compliance — Pilot Program
When we did some investigating, we learned there are some renters living in properties that are listed as owner occupied. State Department of Assessments & Taxation [SDAT] found there were 8,237 properties in the zip codes of Essex, Dundalk and Sparrows Point that applied for the Homestead Property Tax Credit and received the tax credit last year. On the other hand, 4,743 properties did not apply but were eligible. Why would these folks not fill out the application if they are eligible?
My bill would have started a pilot program in the 6th District and sent a notification to those who haven’t filled out that application. We want to identify properties not registered and identify any slumlords that are not currently registered.
The next bill, HB 451 — Baltimore County — Property Tax — Homeowners Property Tax Credit Supplement, would increase the income level limits for the Homeowner’s Property Tax credits. It has not increased since 2006. With inflation, we are seeing a decrease in eligible as people’s income levels are rising but the income levels remain to receive the tax credit. The outdated combined income level to be eligible for the tax credit is $60,000. I would raise it to $72,000 as it would help more people.
Both of these bills would improve our community. HB 451 would help more home owners with tax credits and HB 110 would make homeowners aware of the Homestead Property Tax. I am disappointed to report that both bills failed. My bills died in the Baltimore County Delegate subcommittee chaired by my 6th District colleague Ric Metzgar, who lives in the district and knows our community needs help. I cannot think of a reason why he would not support these two common sense bills.