Howard Pursues Public Safety Officer Tax Credit

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman has plans to enable a tax credit for first responders who live and work in the county. If passed, Howard would join other jurisdictions, including Anne Arundel and Baltimore City, in enacting the tax credit authorized for all local governments last session by House Bill 979.

The $2,500 property tax credit would be available to public safety officers and first responders who live in and work for the County, including police, sheriff, career and volunteer fire, correctional officer, and emergency medical personnel.

The Baltimore Sun reports:

Of the county’s over 470 police officers, only 32 percent live in Howard, and 36 percent of sheriff officers live in the county. A mere 16 percent of career firefighters live in the county, and just 10 percent of correctional officers, 15 people, live in the county.  … County administrators have budgeted for a 9 percent increase in the number of first responders living in the county by the end of 2020.

The credit will be phased in over two years, making credits of $1,250 available in 2019, and $2,500 in 2020 and afterwards. It is expected to cost the County $700,000 in the first year and $1.6 million in subsequent years.