MACo’s initiative to decouple the real and personal property taxes became law when the Governor signed HB1190 into law on May 2, joined by the President of the Senate, Mike Miller, and the Speaker of the House, Michael E. Busch. MACo’s President, Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt, County Administrator R. Wayne Strausburg, Public Information Officer Tamara Lee-Brooks, and Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ernie Colburn joined MACo staff to witness the occasion.
HB 1190/ SB 573 authorizes a county to set its personal property tax rate at no more than 2.5 times the rate for real property. MACo selected this issue as one of its 2013 legislative initiatives because that decoupling the personal property tax rate from the real property tax rate would allow counties to incentivize business investment using a deliberate approach rather than one that is lock-step with the more general real property tax rate. The General Assembly passed both bills without amendments.
MACo’s pension initiative, adding a county representative to the State Pension Board of Trustees (HB390), and MACo’s planning initiative, changing the local comprehensive planning cycle to ten years (HB 409) were both signed into law by the Governor on May 16.