On January 19, 2023, MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally submitted testimony to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee in support of SB0122 – Property Tax Exemption – Religious Group or Organization – Third-Party Leases.
The House Health and Government Operations Committee will consider the bill’s cross-file, HB 0328, on February 22.
The bill stipulates that real property owned by a religious group or organization but leased to a third party would not qualify for the property tax exemption usually afforded to the organization to whom the property belongs.
Horizontal equity – the principle that people and businesses under similar circumstances should bear equal tax burdens – is a hallmark of a fair tax system. However, because of state-mandated property tax exemptions and special evaluations, Maryland’s property tax structure often fails to provide taxpayer equity across all properties.
From the MACo_Testimony:
Although these entities are exempt from paying property taxes, they still reap the benefits of police and fire protection, snow and trash removal, road maintenance, and other essential services. Simply put, these exemptions mean that other homeowners and businesses must bear a greater share of the property tax burden for universal services. SB0122 would level the playing field for all taxpayers by ensuring properties owned by a tax-exempt entity but used by another entity for broader, traditionally taxable functions are subject to taxation.
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