UU Mom (uu_mom) wrote in prince_georges,
UU Mom

Legislation for Prince George's Co. in Maryland

Thanks to Mel Franklin for this information:

This week in Annapolis, the Prince George's County House Delegation will hold important hearings on legislation that directly affects our county's working families. (I am really troubled by the short notice the public is getting in regards to these hearings.) Even if you cannot attend these important hearings, please e-mail our members of the House of Delegates and let them hear your views on this legislation (their e-mail addresses are below). In your e-mail, make sure you include your name and where you live. The Greater Marlboro Democratic Club (GMDC) Organizing for America team will organize a community response in the coming days for bills that we seek to support or oppose.

Here are just a few of the key pieces of legislation being heard by our local delegation (opinions included are my own [Mel Franklin]).

PG 401-09 - Tax Incentives for Green Businesses in Prince George's County

Hearing: Wed, Feb. 4th, 2009 9:00 AM, Lowe House Office Bldg., Annapolis, MD Room 302

This legislation would create important tax credits to encourage the growth of businesses in the emerging "green" economy here in Prince George's County. This bill also encourages businesses to engage in "green" practices that will promote energy conservation. This would compliment President Obama's national agenda of investing in growing 21st century businesses and jobs that will make our country more energy independent and which can't be outsourced. Prince George's County should be on the leading edge of this emerging "green" sector of our economy.

See this recent article on county activists organizing for the Green Economy: http://www.gazette.net/stories/02022009/prinnew160206_32501.shtml

Bill text: http://www.princegeorgeshousedelegation.com/legislation/BillView?local=PG+401-09

PG 413-09 - Investing School Facilities Surcharges in the Area Impacted by Development

Hearing: Wed, Feb. 4th, 2009 7:00 PM, Lowe House Office Bldg., Annapolis, MD, Public Hearing Room 150

Often, especially in south county, when new residential developments are built in our county, local schools and other infrastructure are seriously impacted by the new population growth. Our county has a surcharge per new residential unit (a "School Facilities Surcharge") that is paid by developers that is supposed to go to pay for the impact to the local schools near the developments. However, because current law does not require that this surcharge is used by the school system to pay for improvements to the impacted local schools, the money goes into the general budget and may not help the impacted school(s) at all. This important legislation would ensure that the funds from the School Facilities Surcharge are actually invested in the schools in the general area (legislative district) that were impacted by the new development.

Bill text: http://www.princegeorgeshousedelegation.com/legislation/BillView?local=PG+413-09

PG 414-09 - County Property Tax Increase Through Altering the State Homestead Tax Credit

Hearing: Wed, Feb. 4th, 2009 7:00 PM, Lowe House Office Bldg., Annapolis, MD, Public Hearing Room 150

This legislation is a subtle attempt to increase property taxes in Prince George's County. As you know, voters have imposed a requirement that the public gets to vote on any county efforts to raise property taxes on residents. This bill would override our county referendum requirement and would automatically impose a 10% increase in property taxes for each of the next two years on county homeowners. According to the Gazette, "Assessments, the state-determined value of a home, are what county officials use to determine property tax bills. The [State Homestead Tax Credit] currently limits property assessments for owner-occupied homes in Prince George's County from rising more than 5 percent each year. If the assessment increase remains at 5 percent and the property tax rate stays the same — 96 cents for every $100 of assessed value — a person with the average county home valued at $310,000 would see the property tax bill increase by $148 next year, not including state and city taxes. If the assessment cap is lifted to the maximum 10 percent allowed in Maryland, that same tax bill would increase by $297."

First, I object to the tactic of using state law to override the will of county voters concerning a county tax and, second, while I understand the challenges of shrinking county and state budgets, this is a very bad time -- in the middle of a massive recession -- to increase taxes on working families in Prince George's County.

See the full Gazette Article on this Proposed Tax Increase: http://www.gazette.net/stories/02022009/prinnew154557_32498.shtml

Bill text: http://www.princegeorgeshousedelegation.com/legislation/BillView?local=PG+414-09

PG 406-09 - Promoting Small and Minority Business Ownership in Prince George's County

Hearing: Wed, Feb. 4th, 2009 9:00 AM, Lowe House Office Bldg., Annapolis, MD Room 302

This legislation would require that small, local, or minority business enterprises receive at least 20% ownership in projects financed through certain bonds in Prince George's County. It would also create county-level certifications for local, small, and minority owned businesses. This legislation is a good step forward in helping ensure that local, small, or minority businesses share in the publicly financed economic development in our county.

Bill text: http://www.princegeorgeshousedelegation.com/legislation/BillView?local=PG+406-09

E-mail addresses of the Members of the Prince George's County's House Delegation:
























To look-up the names of the Delegates representing your legislative district, go here (input your address and city, check "House of Delegates," and click "Find Elected Officials"): http://mdelect.net/electedofficials/

For the full contact information for Prince George's County Members of the House of Delegates, go here: http://www.princegeorgeshousedelegation.com/contact/index.html

For more general information: http://www.princegeorgeshousedelegation.com/

See the latest Prince George's County blogger posts and news here.

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Tags: business, development, education, environment, legislation, maryland, politics, prince george's, taxes
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