Council to Address Tax Rates

The Montgomery County Council will set the property tax rate and the income tax offset credit on May 15 for Fiscal Year 2014. The meeting, which will begin at 9:30 a.m., will start with an overview from Council Staff Director Steve Farber on projected FY14 revenues and expenditures.

The Council is scheduled to reach a tentative agreement on the FY14 operating budget on Thursday, May 16. Formal adoption of the budget is scheduled for May 23. The budget will go into effect on July 1.

The Council’s meeting will be held in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. It will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast also will be streamed through the County Web site at

County Executive Isiah Leggett has recommended setting the property tax revenue at the Charter limit, with a credit of $692 (same as the current credit) for owner-occupants of principal residences. To set property tax revenue at the Charter limit and maintain the current credit requires increasing the weighted property tax rate by 1.8 cents (from $0.991 to $1.009 per $100 of assessed value).

The report on revenues and expenditures will show that during its review of the County Executive’s recommended budget over the past two months, the Council has deferred for consideration items that currently total $18.3 million, including $1.5 million in community grants that the Council placed on the list today. The Council must identify funding resources for the items on the “reconciliation list” or decide not to fund specific items.

In addition, the Council has indicated it may consider further reducing the FY11 increase in the County’s fuel/energy tax. If the Council elects to reduce the fuel/energy tax, options proposed range from a 5 percent reduction (revenue loss of $5.8 million) to a 10 percent reduction (revenue loss of $11.6 million). Last year, the Council reduced the FY11 increase by 10 percent.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the Council also will address proposed changes in several FY14 transportation fees. The proposed changes include:
· Revising the Bethesda Parking Lot District rate structure as follows: to $2.00 per hour for on-street meters, $1.25 per hour in any parking lot space and, $0.80 per hour in any space in a parking garage.
· Reducing the daily maximum and lost ticket charge in Bethesda’s Garage 49 from $13.80 per day to $ 12.00 per day.
· Raising the parking rate in Montgomery Hills from $0.25 per hour to $0.50 per hour with a PCS Permit rate increasing from $45.00 per month to $90.00 per month.
· Initiating a $2.00 one-time charge for a Youth SmarTrip card, allowing those who qualify to use SmarTrip for the purchase of their Youth Cruiser monthly pass.
· Changing the Residential Parking Permit fee from $40 biennially to $20 annually.

The Council also will address resolutions to establish FY14 solid waste service charges, water quality protection charges and the WSSC system development charge.

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