In his State of the County address last night -- his first since announcing his bid for governor -- Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan proposed a reduction in the county's property tax rate of about 15 percent and suggested the creation of a new position to oversee the troubled Clarksburg Town Center project.
"We will cut taxes while maintaining our commitment to education and other services and fully funding our employee wage agreements," Duncan, a Democrat, said, according to a copy of the speech released by his office.
Duncan said his budget will include a proposed 9.5-cent reduction to the county's rate of 67.9 cents per $100 of assessed property value, to 58.4 cents per $100.
During his annual address last year, Duncan proposed a 2-cent rate reduction, but the county council approved a 4-cent cut and a one-time credit of $116. This year, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, Duncan's opponent in the Democratic primary race for governor, secured a 2-cent reduction in the city's property tax rate, making the rate $2.308 per $100 of assessed value.
Last night, Duncan also called for the creation of a "Clarksburg ombudsman," a senior-level position responsible for ensuring that Clarksburg, a planned community of 1,300 homes that has been dogged by zoning violations, "is completed to the citizens' satisfaction."