At tonight’s Council meeting, the Council Council will decide whether to reduce City’s Homestead tax credit to 2%.
Currently, the tax credit rate is set at 4%
At the October 4, 2016 Worksession, Council discussed this item and staff provided cost estimates for lowering the City’s Homestead Tax Credit Rate from its current rate of 4% to various lower rates.
It is estimated by the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) that the City’s FY 2018 Homestead Tax Credit will total $236,995 at the City’s current rate of 4% (this is a reduction from the tax revenue that the City would receive if there was no Homestead Tax Credit). That reduction of tax revenue to the City provides an average annual savings of $121 to the 1,951 eligible owner-occupied homes in the City.
The Homestead Tax Credit is a percentage rate limiting the increase in real property assessment from one fiscal year to the next. Most residents saw huge increases in their property assessments this year. During budget discussion back in March, we asked about reducing the Homestead Tax in this year’s budget (FY2017) to provide some relief for owner-occupied households. However, it was too late to make changes to the rate in FY2017.
A bit of history. The City’s Homestead Tax Rate was 10 percent until 2005 (FY2006). The rate was lowered to 1 percent after residents received about a 30 percent increase in their property assessments in January 2004. The City kept the rate at 1 percent for two years and raised it to 4 percent in 2008 (FY2009). By that time property values had fallen dramatically. The rate has remained at 4 percent since 2008.
Section 9-105 (e) (4) of the Tax-Property Article of the Maryland Annotated Code establishes the deadline of November 25th for municipal corporations to set or alter their Homestead Credit, as well as notify SDAT of any change, for the taxable year beginning the following July 1st.
The additional cost (revenue reduction) resulting from lowering the City’s Homestead Tax Credit Rate from 4% to 2% would be $29,882. This would be reflected as a reduction to real property taxes in the FY 2018 Adopted Operating Budget. Future fiscal years would have a similar reduction in real property taxes as long as the rate remained at 2%.
At tomorrow’s Council meeting, the City Council will consider returning of $450,000 that is being held in escrow , towards the building of an extended Hollywood Road west of Route 1. The Mazza GrandMarc developer PPC/CHP Maryland Limited Partnership (PPC/CHP), gave half a million dollars in escrow when they built the Mazza apartment complex on Route 1. The developer so far used $50,000 towards a feasibility study about the proposed road.
Last week the engineer who prepared the feasibility study for extension of Hollywood Road presented the study to Council. The study included survey work, assessment of alignment options, site layout, grading plans and preliminary cost estimates.
The State Highway Administration was consulted as part of the study. The engineer proposed four alignment options however, SHA said only one alignment was acceptable. This option will cause the most significant impact to the businesses that are located on the west side of Baltimore Ave. This option would necessitate demolition of a portion of the buildings and leave the businesses without parking, in essence requiring a total taking of these properties.
The estimated cost for construction of the roadway is $625,000; this estimate does not include the cost of land acquisition, demolition and property analysis. It was agreed that the current access for Grand Marc Mazza is adequately serving the complex and that some safety enhancements could benefit those exiting the property. The representative of PCP/CHP agreed to work with SHA on safety enhancements at the current access.
Please see below last week’s crime report.
As you can see in the report, we had an attempted carjacking incident at around the midnight last Friday evening, at the intersection of Lackawanna St and 53rd Avenue, where the victim was sitting in the vehicle waiting on a friend. The suspect approached and told the victim that he missed his train and asked the victim to use the victim’s phone. The victim denied his request at which point, the suspect started threatening the victim and demanded that the victim gives the car to the suspect. The victim drove away and the suspect fled into the Metro station tunnel toward Greenbelt. Area checks were conducted with negative results. Greenbelt City Police Department and Metro Transit Police Department also assisted. Please take extra caution at the 53rd ave and Lackwanna st intersection, especially at late hours.
|10/8/2016||9:07 AM||9300 Blk CHERRY HILL RD||THEFT FROM AUTO|
|10/7/2016||12:19 AM||53RD AVE / LACKAWANNA ST||ATTEMPT CARJACKING|
|10/6/2016||9:19 AM||5100 Blk HOLLYWOOD RD||BREAKING & ENTERING|
|10/2/2016||4:05 PM||10100 Blk BALTIMORE AVE||THEFT FROM AUTO|
At the next Council meeting, the Council will receive a presentation on the status of the City’s strategic plan action items. The City Council adopted the 2015 – 2020 Strategic Plan in August 2015.
In addition to the City Vision, Mission, and Values, the plan contains six goals: One College Park, Environmental Sustainability, High Quality Development and Reinvestment, Quality Infrastructure, Effective Leadership, and Excellent Services. The goals were established by the Mayor and Council, and staff developed 42 action items to move the City toward fulfillment of each goal. The items have been assigned to specific staff and given estimated start and completion dates.
The action items also have key steps, and these have been assigned to staff with due dates as well. Twenty-seven action items are considered to be “on track” and three have been achieved. The “achieved” items include Mbike and the City Operations Sustainability Plan.
Eight items have not been started, but none are due prior to the end of the year. Four items are considered “off-track”, including the new City Hall project and online payment for permits. The online payments for permits task has been delayed due to the modifications and training for the Code Enforcement module of SunGard.
A ROTC / off-duty military member with a AR-15 gun caused panic at the University of Maryland Thursday afternoon after police issued alerts of a person armed on campus.
Police alerted students shortly before 2:30 p.m. that a person armed with an AR-15 was reported at Ritchie Coliseum on Route 1 in College Park.
The UMD Police issued an alert, which says:
Person armed with an AR-15 reported at Ritchie Coliseum. Avoid the area and follow all public safety orders.Police are actively searching for the suspect. Stay alert and follow the direction of police officials.
The City Hall in downtown also went into a lock-down. City Hall was declared closed at that time.
Less than 30 minutes later, University officials confirmed that the man was an off-duty military member, and that police was notified by two very alert students.
The UMPD issued the following statement
Good afternoon, We have verified that there was a man with a long gun that was seen by two very alert students. Our investigation reveals that this is an off duty member of the military. We have verified his identity and the situation is now all clear. Chief Mitchell has called an emergency with military commanders to discuss this incident and to make sure this can never happen again.
Please call me at 301-938-7559 if you need further information.
At tonight’s Council meeting, the City Council will discuss City’s Neighborhood Watch program and the annual National Night Out event.
The Neighborhood Watch Steering Committee (NWSC) was established in 2011 to promote and support community neighborhood watch programs city-wide. The NWSC replaced a previous model where one resident served as the city-wide coordinator working with neighborhood coordinators.
Currently all three of the NWSC positions are vacant. Staff feels that the top down neighborhood watch model is not working in College Park. Neighborhoods in the City are using different models to distribute public safety information. Some use the traditional block captain format, other neighborhoods use a community listserve or the national Nextdoor blog to distribute information.
Public Services staff provides logistical support to active Neighborhood Watch coordinators. Council may decide to disband the NWSC or to appoint new members.
Council will discuss how to plan for National Night Out at tonight’s meeting. The National Night Out (NNO) is an annual public safety awareness event; it is held the first Tuesday in August in most jurisdictions in the United States. College Park most years has held multiple events on NNO. Each neighborhood with an active Neighborhood Watch coordinator plans activities specific to their neighborhood and coordinates with Public Services staff. At this time there are five active neighborhood watch programs in the City.
In 2011, the Neighborhood Watch Steering Committee planned and organized a central NNO event at the College Park Aviation Museum. The event was well attended. Many municipalities in Prince George’s county hold one event on NNO. Staffing multiple events on NNO can be difficult for the Prince George’s Police (PGPD) and Fire Departments. Often helicopter, large police, EMS and fire equipment is in high demand on NNO.
College Park has incorporated a public safety display including the PGPD helicopter and bomb squad robot at College Park Day; a day when other jurisdictions are not competing for these resources.
Council will be discussing whether to continue coordinating and supporting individual neighborhood events on NNO, supporting a central NNO event, consider alternating between central and neighborhood sites and consider celebrating NNO in October when students have returned to the area.
At tomorrow’s Council worksession, the City Council will review a report of the possibility to build an extension of Hollywood road on the west side of Route 1.
The City Council approved a scope of services for the feasibility study to be performed under a contract late last year.
The scope included survey work, assessment of alignment options, site layout and grading plans and preliminary cost estimates. It also included two community stakeholder meetings to review possible alignments and to present the final report.
The report was submitted on September 28 and a stakeholder meeting was held last week to present the results of the report. Four alignments were initially studied but only one alignment was deemed feasible by the State Highway Administration (SHA). This alignment (Option 3, and shown above) became the focus of the report but has the most significant impact on the Shin property and businesses that reside on that property.
The preliminary construction cost estimate is approximately $625,000 but excludes land acquisition, demolition and reconstruction.
Mazza GrandMarc is seeking release of any funds remaining in the $500,000 escrow account set up for this project if the City does not pursue construction of the road. Mazza GrandMarc has no plans at this time to pursue commercial development on their remaining property or to seek construction of the road. While the property to the north of the proposed road is for sale, the majority of the impact is on the Shin property which is not currently on the market. Typically, new roads are the responsibility of the developer as new development occurs.
Access to Mazza Grandmarc apartments was enhanced with the installation of the traffic signal at Baltimore Avenue and Hollywood Road which was a condition of development. Access is restricted to right-in, right-out and left-in only, however left turns from the site are not adequately restricted and are routinely made.
Given the current circumstances, City staff does not pursuing construction of the road extension given the lack of need for this facility at this time.
|9/24/2016||5:03 PM||9400 48TH AVE, MD 20740||THEFT FROM AUTO|
|9/24/2016||12:32 PM||9500 BALTIMORE AVE, MD 20740||THEFT FROM AUTO|
|9/30/2016||8:50 AM||9600 MILESTONE WAY, MD 20740||THEFT FROM AUTO|
|9/28/2016||9:17 AM||9200 DAVIDSON ST, MD 20740||THEFT FROM AUTO|
|9/23/2016||7:12 PM||9600 52ND AVE, MD 20740||THEFT|
|9/19/2016||3:09 PM||4700 CHERRY HILL RD, MD 20740||THEFT|
|9/29/2016||10:19 AM||9600 MILESTONE WAY, MD 20740||THEFT|
|9/29/2016||8:17 AM||9100 BALTIMORE AVE, MD 20740||THEFT|
|9/28/2016||6:10 PM||10100 BALT IMORE AVE, MD 20740||STOLEN VEH|
|9/28/2016||9:47 AM||800 RHODE ISLAND AVE, MD 20740||STOLEN VEH|
|9/28/2016||9:17 AM||9200 DAVIDSON ST, MD 20740||THEFT FROM AUTO|
It’s Fall Clean-Up time again!
As a resident of College Park, you can can bring your special trash and electronic recycling for disposal on October 22 and October 29 from 7:30am to 12pm to the Department of Public Works located in Davis Hall.
Document shredding will be on the last Saturday of the clean-up, October 29 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families and friends.
I came to know about this homicide incident just before the midnight from our City staff . Later on, I followed the news throughout the day.
My son has some mutual friends of Farhad Siddique, and he showed me Farhad’s Facebook page. I found he would have turned 20 this morning. I saw his picture and teh pictures of his friends and parents. They look such a beautiful and happy family. It’s so sad that they had to leave all of us so suddenly. It’s so sad.
We know our police is currently investigating the incident and we want to let that investigation complete before we speculate why this happened.
My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families and friends.
Anyone with information about the College Park murder/suicide is asked to call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Homicide Unit at 301-772-4925.
Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477), text “PGPD” and a message to CRIMES (274637)
College Park opened it first Senior Center in north College Park, at teh Youth and Family Services building at 4912 Nantucket Road.
Seniors will now have the opportunity to meet and have activities at this facility twice a week, every Wednesday and Friday, from 10am to 12 pm. Details about the programms will come soon.
College Park is going through a number of developments. The City is looking for a development consultant to address city’s future development challenges.
At tonight’s City Council meeting, the City Council will review applications of development consultants.
The selected consultant will work on tasks like the review of project proposals, feasibility, financial and cost-benefit analyses, development negotiations, valuation of real estate and assistance with economic development and project planning.
Recently, the City posted a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), calling for firms interested in providing general consultant services on a task basis. A total of twelve firms responded with the required letter of interest, resumes and hourly rates of proposed personnel, references and other information.
A staff team made up of the City Manager, Assistant City Manager, City Attorney and Planning Director reviewed the submissions and selected three firms for interviews. The selected firms have both local and national experience, provided evidence of similar work with public agencies and did not appear to have any conflicts of interest.
After conducting the interviews, the staff team is recommending two firms for consideration by the Mayor and Council, JLL and HR&A Advisors, Inc. Council will review the applications of these two firms at tonight’s meeting.