As Maryland contemplates a budget that makes massive cost shifts to county government, even authorizing overridding citizen-passed tax caps to do so, a neighboring state is evaluating methods to take pressure off property taxes, recognizing the state of the current economy and real estate market.
From the Pennsylvania Independent:
Local officials also support making changes, particularly in parts of the state like Grove’s York County, where the population has surged, driving up education costs and property taxes along with them.
In Monroe County, which has experienced a similar surge in the past decade, Suzanne McCool, a county commissioner and a Democrat, said the property tax burden is driving people away and increasing the foreclosure rate.
“We need to do something, and they better do something soon,” she said.
Though not familiar with the details of Grove’s plan, McCool said counties across the state — and Monroe County, in particular — are looking for more autonomy.
State Rep. Tarah Toohil, R-Luzerne, who is backing the legislation, said the flexibility offered by the plan was important.
“It would allow communities where property taxes aren’t a problem to keep the current system in place, while allowing communities where taxpayers are calling for some relief to make the switch to another funding method,” Toohil said.