Bill To Establish Special Tax Rates For Different Types Of Property Before Md. General Assembly

It’s sponsored by a Frederick County Delegate Kris Fair.

Delegate Kris Fair

Annapolis, Md (KM) Counties in Maryland and the City of Baltimore would be able to impose property tax rates based on how the property is used under a bill sponsored by Frederick County Delegate Kris Fair. He says this measure would be enabling legislation. “It’s doesn’t mandate them {the counties, Baltimore City} that they do it. It simply says if they would like to implement it, they can. Currently, state law blocks their ability to be able to do this,” he says.

Presently , the counties can only set one tax rate for all real property.  Frederick County’s current property tax rate is $1.06 per $100 of assessed value.

The bill, if passed, would allow counties to impose a special tax of no more than 12.5 cents per $100 of assessed value for real property, including commercial or industrial; residential properties with at least four rental units; residential, commercial and industrial condominiums; property used for both residential and commercial; residential town houses or row houses; and vacant lots or improved parcels cited as vacant or unfit for human habitation,  or another authorized use.

Delegate Fair says he got the idea for this legislation from talking with county executives from around Maryland. “After listening to county executives and their concerns, we decided to put in this bill which will allow them to identify various subclasses of properties, and then be able to charge, if they want to, different tax rates for those properties after their property tax assessments,:” he says.

Revenues raised from these special tax rates would be used for transportation infrastructure and minimum school funding amounts.

“The impetus of this bill is really to give county executives more tools in their tool chests as they look at various different properties, commercial versus residential,” says Fair. “And some properties have larger impacts  on our community than others.”

Fair also points out that municipalities already have this authority.

A hearing on this bill was held late last month before the House Ways and Means Committee.

By Kevin McManus