County Moves Forward with Economic Enhancement Tax Rebate
(3/23) The Frederick Board of County Commissioners yesterday discussed providing a $100 economic enhancement tax rebate to each owner-occupied property taxpayer in Frederick County.
Leading up to this point and based on a $29 million surplus in the Frederick County Government FY2013 operating budget, the board looked at a 3-4 cent property tax cut proposal for county citizens. However, after the board reviewed proposals from the Budget Committee and due to the uncertainty of the shift of costs from federal and state governments onto Maryland
counties, the board instead is considering an economic enhancement tax rebate for property owners.
Citizens may use the rebate checks to buy gas, prescription medicine, meals at a local restaurant or to donate to a local nonprofit organization or to put in the bank – the choice would rest with the taxpayer, not local government.
After revenue and expense adjustments, the recommended budget presented to the board includes approximately $9 million in a one-time funding option for the tax rebate, which would currently result in a $100 rebate check for approximately 67,000 property owners in the county, for a total of $6.7 million.
Board President Blaine Young commented, "This very special economic enhancement tax rebate for our citizens is something the majority of the board pledged to do during our campaigns for office. We said we would make the tough decisions about the budget, including a reduction in the county workforce and reorganization of county government, so we could reduce the
burden on the taxpayers and also have compassion for the taxpayers during difficult economic conditions. Each property tax owner who receives a check can put the money into the community and the county will reap direct economic benefits. The taxpayers know better how to spend their own money than we do."
As far as the board knows, no other county in Maryland is considering such a property owner rebate. Most neighboring counties are experiencing a deficit budget.
The board received a review of the recommended operating budget for FY2013, and their deliberations concerning the property tax rebate were part of the budget process as they head toward a full presentation to the public at a hearing in May. The actual budget will be adopted in June.
For more information, contact Budget Officer Regina Howell at 301-600-3191 or via e-mail at rhowell@FrederickCountyMD.gov.
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