Robey vetoes GOP cut in tax caps

Howard County

March 11, 2006|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Howard County Executive James N. Robey vetoed a Republican-sponsored measure yesterday that would have trimmed the assessment cap on the taxable value of homes from 5 percent to 4 percent, a measure that would have saved the owner of a median-priced $450,000 home $46 a year.

The County Council approved the assessment bill, sponsored by western county Republican Charles C. Feaga, on a 3-2 vote Monday night. Four votes are required to override a veto.

Robey based his veto on three objections: that the cut is small and wouldn't take effect until 2007; that he is proposing a 3-cent cut in the property tax rate for July 1; and that with costs rising, the combination of both cuts would be a "significant loss of revenue."

Council Chairman Christopher J. Merdon, an Ellicott City Republican running for executive, said Robey, a Democrat, wants only his tax cut.

"The Democrats want to have it both ways. If you cut taxes a little bit, they say it's too small and insignificant. If you cut them too high, they say it's irresponsible," Merdon said. Robey's proposal would save the same owner of a median-priced home $135 and begin a year earlier.

Republicans have argued that with a $20.4 million surplus last fiscal year and revenues running $19 million ahead of predictions this year, more tax cuts are needed.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.