Yesterday, I joined dozens of our residents voicing concerns over the negative impact of the County bill CB-48-2020 on our property tax bills. Thankfully, the County Council voted to table its decision in the end.
As I said in my testimony, I think the timing of even considering this bill could not be worse. Our homeowners are struggling with huge unemployment and many of them are struggling with their mortgage payments.
Our College Park City Council sent a letter to the County Council recently requesting them to give more information to the voters that explain the effects of the amendment language and offers examples to the taxpayer of how it may affect their property taxes. I wish our City council could take a stronger position against the proposed bill.
Personally, I find it a little frustrating that the County Council is considering this bill, because at the College Park City Council, over the years, we have been trying to reduce the homestead tax credit cap on the College Park’s portion of the property tax. This cap could be as high as 10%, as some other towns have, but in College Park, it has been reduced to 0%. It’s frustrating because the County Council’s effort to repeal the cap on the County’s portion of the tax is going in the opposite direction that College Park is trying to do.
We know the County needs additional sources of revenues, especially when it’s projecting significant losses due to COVID-19 pandemic, but I do not think to tax our residents more during this difficult time is the right thing to do. Could there be other opportunities to generate revenues, such as attracting more successful and sustainable businesses to the county? Historically, Prince George’s has an unduly high proportion (68%-32%) of residential tax base compared to the commercial tax base.
Here you can find more about yesterday’s vote.