Counties Propose Revisiting Taxes and Fees Following Hogan Victory

Many counties and Baltimore City are revisiting their tax and fee structures following Larry Hogan’s victory in the gubernatorial election. As reported by the Baltimore Sun,

In the aftermath of Republican Larry Hogan’s victory in the governor’s race on an anti-tax message, fiscally conservative politicians from both parties see a carpe diem moment. With their colleagues who champion increased government services reeling, small-government advocates are pressing to cut taxes and fees.

Some counties are looking specifically at property taxes and stormwater management fees.  Baltimore City’s Mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, recently appointed a task force to study whether the city’s taxes and fees could be reduced.

In Anne Arundel, Republican Del. Steve Schuh, who was elected county executive, said he plans a 3-cent cut to the property tax. Anne Arundel’s property tax rate is $0.943 per $100 of assessed value.

State Sen. Barry Glassman, the Republican elected as Harford County executive, said he has legislation in the works to repeal the county’s stormwater management fee.

“I’m going to introduce a repeal of the rain tax,” Glassman said, adding that he plans to fund cleanup efforts using other revenue available through the county’s capital budget. “We’re still developing how we can do it, but it’s a no-brainer for me.”

In Howard, state Sen. Allan H. Kittleman, a Republican elected county executive, said he wants to work with the County Council to “reduce or repeal” Howard’s stormwater fee. The county charges $15 per 500 square feet of impervious surface.

In Baltimore, Rawlings-Blake said she’s looking for places to cut. The mayor appointed a task force last week to study whether some of the city’s many taxes and fees can be reduced or changed. The 20-member Baltimore Tax Policy Study Focus Group includes developers, real estate lawyers and leaders of business associations.

“I’ve asked the group to put particular emphasis on our property tax rate,” she said. “They will present my administration with recommendations for areas where we can move forward with possible additional tax relief.”