February 7, 2017
The State (DNR) owns approximately 90,000 acres of land in Garrett County which is not subject to property taxes for the county due to state ownership. The current means to recoup some of the lost property taxes is to provide the county with 25% of the revenue obtained from the sale of timber on this land. For the last several years, however, very little timber has been harvested so the revenue coming to Garrett County has been very low. This process currently exists throughout Maryland for all counties in which the state owns land that cannot be taxed.
To remedy this situation and insure a fair amount of revenue, consistent with the amount of acreage owned by the state, this bill will provide a more equitable reimbursement of funds to Garrett County for land owned by the State of Maryland. The proposed bill breaks down the acreage into “units” of 10,000 acres and would mandate $250,000 per unit income to the county annually. SB273 will make the County’s reimbursement approximately $2 million annually. SB273 is being heard by the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee on Wednesday, February 15 at 1:00 p.m. Please send written testimony to George.firstname.lastname@example.org by February 14, asking the Budget & Taxation Committee to give SB273 a FAVORABLE REPORT, and indicate if you plan to testify in person. Senate Bill 273 (SB 273) may be seen here. The existing system related to timber would no longer be used.
Your POA supports this bill because it is a fair way to reimburse the county for taxes that currently cannot be collected, and asks that you consider sending a written testimony of endorsement.
Thanks very much in advance for your support on this bill which, if passed, will insure Garrett County is fairly reimbursed for uncollectable tax revenue.
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