St. Mary’s Commissioners Discuss Potential Tax Reductions

St. Mary’s County Commissioners discussed potential tax reductions at a recent retreat. As reported by Southern Maryland Newspapers Online, Commissioner Mike Hewitt expressed his interest in eliminating the energy tax, a tax that has been slated for elimination in the past.

At a commissioner retreat meeting last week, he said he wants to get rid of the county’s energy tax, reduce the property tax even more and also reduce the income tax rate by next year, all the while maintaining or improving county government’s strong bond rating.

“I’d like to eliminate the energy tax,” Hewitt said, which is 1.25 percent tacked on to electricity, fuel oil, liquefied petroleum and natural gas bills.

“It’s a regressive tax that hurts the poor and the elderly,” he said this week, because they often live in poorly insulated homes and have to pay more for heating.

Other commissioners offered support as long as the reductions don’t affect services being provided to taxpayers.

Also during the retreat, finance staff provided commissioners with a listing of reserve accounts. Commissioners requested an accounting of these funds at an earlier meeting and discussed the possibility of exploring other uses.