Howard County Executive Calvin Ball last week pre-filed legislation with the County Council to repeal the County’s 40-year-old mobile home tax, effective with the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, 2019. Ball co-sponsored a bill to repeal the tax last year, but it was defeated on a 3-2 vote by the previous Council.
According to a press release:
“For a County with one of the highest median incomes in the nation, it is patently unfair that we are collecting this burdensome tax from some of our most vulnerable residents, including many seniors who live on fixed incomes,” said Ball. “This is money they could better spend to put food on the family table, clothes on their back, and put toward costly medical expenses.”
“I am happy to be introducing this legislation with Councilmembers Opel Jones, Deb Jung, Liz Walsh, and on behalf of County Executive Ball,” said Rigby. “This bill will reduce an unjust tax burden on Howard County residents in manufactured homes and support our community in expanding opportunity for all.”
An estimated 1,100 county mobile home residents pay an average of $45 a month in mobile home taxes. The tax is based on the annual rent and is calculated at a rate of ten percent of the first $3,600 of annual rent, and five percent of the amount of annual rent charged over $3,600. The tax raises approximately $700,000 annually for the County.
“The owners of these mobile home parks derive no benefit from this tax,” said Ball. “They merely serve as collection agents and forward the tax to the County.”
“It’s simply not fair for residents of mobile home parks to pay a premium to live in a mobile home park and I was disappointed we didn’t get the votes last year to end this tax,” said Delegate Jen Terrasa, who co-sponsored the previous repeal bill with Ball in 2018 while she served in the Council. “By pressing forward and championing this repeal, County Executive Ball and these Councilmembers are proposing sensible tax relief to a group of residents who really need it.”
“I am delighted to be joining Executive Ball and my fellow Councilmembers in co-sponsoring this bill,” said Councilmember Liz Walsh. “We have all known of this much needed relief since Dr. Ball and now-Delegate Jen Terrasa introduced a similar, but unsuccessful bill last year. Thank you to the incredible advocates from PATH (People Acting Together in Howard) for persevering on this specific issue until the right thing could be done.”
To read the legislation, visit https://bit.ly/2EocKfl.
Read the full press release for more information.