State bills would let Montgomery Co. raise some income taxes, cut some property taxes

In Montgomery County, Maryland, the owner of a 2,000-square-foot home pays the same property tax rate as someone with a home 10 times that size.

One of two tax bills pending in the Maryland General Assembly would change the rates.

“You shouldn’t have to make a decision to skip your mortgage one month so that you can afford to go to the doctor,” said Montgomery County Council member Will Jawando at a Monday news conference discussing the bills.

Jawando said a proposed property tax bill introduced in the assembly would enable the county to give property tax cuts to 98% of local homeowners. Currently, the average home price countywide is $309,000, and those who own homes of around 2,000 square feet would see about a $537 tax cut.

Another bill would increase the maximum income tax rate that Montgomery County can impose, but more than 95% of county taxpayers would not see an increase under the plan.

“Wealth inequality, I don’t have to tell most people, in the state, county, in the world, is out of control,” Jawando said.

He said the income tax bill would allow the Montgomery County Council to change the tax rate from 3.2% to 3.5% for those making more than $1 million. The revenue brought in from the increase would be used for new and improved school buses, additional teachers, school construction, textbooks and other costs of education in the county.

Jawando said it’s unfair that someone making $25,000 a year pays the same tax rate as someone making $25 million each year.

“Working families are being stretched thin; public services are even thinner, and at the same time, wealthy corporations and shareholders are making millions of dollars on un-taxed or very lowly taxed income,” Jawando said.

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