Charles County Commissioners Table Report Recommending New Resources For School Facilities

At a recent meeting, Charles County Commissioners tabled discussion on a report of the School Adequate Public Facilities Program and Funding Review Committee, which recommended new resources to address a lack of funding for the public school system and a need to build and expand schools.

From The Charles County Independent article,

The report, nearly 80 pages, contains charts comparing taxes of Maryland’s jurisdictions and maps that identify hot spots of expansion in the county and subsequent overcrowding in the schools. It pinpoints issues and offers sometimes multiple solutions.

Jason Groth, chief of resource and infrastructure management in the county’s Department of Planning and Growth Management, another member of the committee, spoke last week to only one section of the report…

Groth spoke about possible tax increases the committee had explored, which could potentially be funneled to the school system, like a utility tax. Anne Arundel County imposes an 8 percent tax on residential phone landlines, which could yield $1.5 million in annual revenue if Charles County instituted a similar tax. If Charles adopted a Prince George’s County’s policy, in which the government taxes nonresidential, residential and wireless lines, a theoretical 8 percent tax could result in $6.3 million in revenue, the committee found.

St. Mary’s County also has instituted a 1.5 percent tax on electricity, which if enacted by Charles County could reap $1.2 million.

The Commissioners tabled the report following this discussion and there is no indication whether it will be revisited. The Committee, formed by the county commissioners, includes commission members and representatives from the Board of Education, Southern Maryland Board of Realtors and the Education Association of Charles County.