Carroll Likely To Extend Tax Credit For Fallen Heroes

The Carroll Board of County Commissioners plans to discuss and “likely pass” and extension on the Fallen and Disabled Heroes tax credit this Thursday, reports The Carroll County Times. firefighters-696167_1920

Last session the General Assembly approved and Governor signed SB 282/HB 571, which authorizes local governments to expand the existing optional property tax credit offered to disabled first responders and the surviving spouses of fallen and disabled first responders. Under existing law, local governments may offer disabled first responders and the surviving spouses of disabled or fallen first responders a property tax credit for homes acquired within two years of the event causing the disability or death. Beginning with taxable years that start after June 30, 2017, local governments may extend their property tax credits to cover properties acquired with 10 years of such an event. They may also grant the credits to cohabitants, in addition to surviving spouses. The law allows counties to determine whether to offer the credit, and if they do, the duration, amount, and additional terms of the credit.

Carroll County currently offers the credit for 100 percent of the local tax obligation for those who qualify, and plans to extend the credit to properties acquired within 10 years. The Commissioners held a hearing on the change in August.  The Carroll County Times reports:

These people put their lives on the line every day for the community, [Commissioner Stephen] Wantz said. And, he added, the pay for these public safety positions isn’t always commensurate with the risk involved.

Wantz said the main reason he went to bat for the legislation [in Annapolis] is because he’s seen law enforcement and rescue workers who have become disabled and what it can do to their lives.

“When something of that magnitude happens to you, two years doesn’t really give you the time to get your life in order,” he said.

Commissioners will discuss and potentially vote on the credit extension at their meeting this Thursday at 1 p.m.

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Update, September 19: The Board of Commissioners approved the changes: