The knee-jerk reaction to tax increases is usually to oppose them, but in this case, I would be favor of this increase IF the Commissioners pledge (and somehow lock away) this extra revenue for two specific purposes: stopping school closures and mitigating the lack of affordable housing.
If you read my article from last month’s newsletter on the pending funding crisis for the public school system, you’ll see that it is a dire situation. This extra revenue should be banked to pay for future costs that are known to be coming. Additionally, some of the additional revenue should go to initiatives to help working-class families afford basic housing in the County. Declining schools and declining population are already setting off a vicious cycle that will have far-lasting negative impacts that will exceed the increase in the property tax amount.
As always, I encourage you to do your own research and get the facts!
Two important things to remember:
- Group 3 will face the same assessment process at the end of this year so be prepared if you’re in that area
- You can limit the rate of increase in your assessment for owner-occupied properties under the Maryland Homestead Property Tax Credit. You should check out that program if you’re a resident to make sure you’re getting that protection.
The County’s Budget Page is here and it should be releasing the proposed FY24 Budget soon.