Council will discuss tax districts Officials to consider adding two others

November 15, 1993|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Staff Writer

The County Council will consider adding two special tax districts, one in Arnold and the other in Shady Side, at a public hearing tonight.

The districts allow the county to collect from each homeowner a fee, which it gives to community associations to be spent for specific projects.

The 42 special tax districts in Anne Arundel County last year received $2.1 million for projects that included maintenance of community beaches, parks and piers, special security services and insect and pest control.

The future of the tax districts is being debated, however.

Last week, the Court of Appeals heard arguments from a group of Cape St. Clair homeowners who claim the tax districts are illegal.

County officials contend the districts are an efficient way to ensure residents maintain amenities in their communities.

The Cape St. Clair group filed suit three years ago. The Circuit Court and the Court of Special Appeals have ruled in the county's favor.

The Cedarhurst-on-the-Bay community tax district in Shady Side would be established to acquire and maintain property for community piers, storage sheds and a community association building.

The association also would use money to buy equipment to maintain its beaches, parks, playground areas, parking lots, and community-owned piers and parking lots.

Tax money also would pay for recreational equipment, security and pest control.

The Rugby Hall Estates tax district would use fees to maintain and improve its community property, including community-owned roads, open space, recreation areas and waterfront facilities. It also would pay for pest control and security patrols.

The council also will consider a bill authorizing money to help pay for a $140,369 study to determine the benefits of turning Tipton Army Airfield at Fort Meade into a county-owned commercial airport. The airfield has been declared a surplus property by the Base Closure and Realignment Act.

The county's share would be $7,000, the Federal Aviation Administration would give a $126,350 grant and $7,019 would come from the Maryland Aviation Administration.

The county's Planning Advisory Board, a citizen panel that reviews all expenditures for county building projects, approved the feasibility study last week by a 4-0 vote.

If there are no snags, the study should take eight or nine months, said Michael Leahy, the county's land use coordinator.

The study will focus on whether there is any environmental contamination at the site, just south of Route 32 at Fort Meade.

The study also will concentrate on the cost of taking over and operating the airport, including maintenance needs during the next 20 years, and the interest the local aviation community would have in using the facility.

The County Council meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Arundel Center in Annapolis.

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