It may conflict with the amount of federal money the county could receive as part of the American Rescue Plan.
Frederick, Md (KM) Some questions need to be answered before the Frederick County Council can hold hearings on a bill giving disabled military veterans property tax credits.
During a Council meeting on Tuesday, Chief Administrative Officer Rick Harcum said this local legislation could endanger the $50-million the county is expected to receive from the American Rescue Plan. The $1.9-trillion legislation was approved by Congress and signed into law by the President. It provides for funds for local governments to help them recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Harcum said the federal law prohibits local and state governments from creating tax credits or tax reductions which would be offset by funds from the American Rescue Plan. “What Congress was trying to guard against was giving state, county and city governments federal dollars that would then allow local officials to enact tax reduction measures, and basically supplant and supplement their local revenues with the federal revenues,”: he said.
“This legislation is in effect all the way through calendar year 2024,” Harcum continues. “And based the strictest interpretative review of that, this would prohibit state, county and city governments across the United States from enacting tax reductions. That’s beyond my comprehension. That can’t possibly happen.”
Councilman Steve McKay is the sponsor of the bill. “It just can’t be correct to think that the federal government would penalize states and localities from taking actions to help their citizens at the time they need it most,” he said.
But McKay agreed to delay introducing his bill until these and other questions about the American Rescue Plan are answered. It was scheduled for first reading on Tuesday.
The co-sponsors of the bill are Councilmembers Michael Blue, Jessica Fitzwater and Kai Hagen.
By Kevin McManus