County Transfer Tax Would Net $4 Million

April 12, 1992|By Michael K. Burns | Michael K. Burns,Staff writer

Harford County's revenue would grow by an estimated $4 million a year as a result of a 1 percent county real estate transfer tax the County Council will consider.

During its final week, the General Assembly gave the county the authority to enact the tax.

The measure must be signed by the governor and adopted by the County Council before taking effect.

Half of the revenue would be used to purchase farmland development rights, and the other half to finance the acquisition and construction of school sites, County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann said.

A change in the county charter is needed to use the money for agricultural land preservation, and such changes require a public referendum. The County Council is expected to place the amendment on the ballot for a vote in November.

The councilwould later consider whether to adopt the transfer tax, if Rehrmann submits the plan.

The local tax measure passed by the legislature would exempt the first $30,000 of a real estate transaction from the levy.

Real estate workers and housing developers oppose the measure, saying it would depress the market.

Some County Council membershave not endorsed the new tax, which was pushed by Rehrmann to subsidize the programs earmarked for it. The council recently killed her proposal to increase a tax charged for recording legal papers.

If adopted, Harford's 1 percent transfer tax would be in addition to the state's property transfer tax of 0.5 percent.

Revenue from the state tax is shared among the counties. Harford received about $100,000 from the tax last year.

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