Frederick County Council Considering Day Care Providers Tax Credit

It would be set at up to $3,000.

Frederick, Md (KM) A bill to set up a tax credit for home owners who convert part of their houses for day care use was discussed on Tuesday by the Frederick County Council.

One of the sponsors is Councilwoman Renee Knapp, who says there’s been a decrease in child care sources in Frederick County since the COVID-19 pandemic. “This credit is coming from state code. It’s already in place in Montgomery County and in Howard County. It would provide a credit for up to $3,000 for home improvements made to a day care business,” she said.

The credit would only be in effect for five consecutive tax years, and is not transferable. The County Treasurer would administer the program.

The other sponsor of the legislation is Council President Brad Young. “I know the County Executive has a task force that will be looking at many of these things. But that’s going to take a while,” he said. “In my opinion, it doesn’t hurt to go ahead and move forward with this. And if we evaluate or make changes based on what the committee looks at later, we can take that up. I think that in the meantime, this is a first good step.”

State law allows the county to set up this tax credit, but Councilman Steve McKay was a bit concerned that this bill may not be in compliance with state code. ” What the state code allows us to do is to change the amount of the property tax, the duration of the property tax or any other provision necessary to carry out this section,” he said. “It doesn’t yet allow us to redefine the tax credit, and I think we kind of are.”

Councilwoman Knapp said this bill is similar ones enacted in Montgomery and Howard Counties.

She also said the child care situation is “very, very dire.” “And over 50 percent of the licensed infant slots in Frederick County are home based,:” said Knapp. “This shortage disproportionally affects different areas in the county. Thirty percent of these home based child care slots are in the northern part of the county, and 17 percent are in the southeastern part of the county.”

The County staff is expected to make revisions to the bill before bringing it back to the Council.

Council President Young said there’s also a need for adult day care in Frederick County. He says it’s not as common in this part of the country compared to other areas. “At times, it provides for smaller setting of folks. But also there’s not enough supply in the the other side. And also the cost factors of going into another facility that’s there.. So I think that’s something that certainly this bill could maybe encourage more opportunities, more folks to have adult day care,”  Young says.

By Kevin McManus