City / County Digest


May 09, 2007

Property tax credit for seniors signed in Harford

A homeowners property tax credit for senior citizens in Harford County was signed into law yesterday.

County Executive David R. Craig visited the McFaul Senior Center in Bel Air to sign the measure. The credit, which goes into effect July 1, is intended to ease the tax burden for residents who live on fixed incomes but face rising home assessments - which increased about 20 percent statewide last year.

The measure, which supplements a similar state credit, targets those whose homes are assessed at up to $400,000, $100,000 higher than the limit for the state program. Depending on income and assets, eligible residents could save from $300 to $1,500 on their property tax bills, county officials said.

The law will "help seniors and others on fixed incomes stay in their homes," Craig said.

The center received a stack of tax-credit applications, which also are available at county libraries and on the county government's Web site.

"I sure am going to apply," Ben Pritchett, 72, of Bel Air, said yesterday. "It looks like I will wind up with a $300 credit."

Mary Gail Hare

Baltimore County

: Hickey School

Last of 10 escapees captured in Essex

The last of 10 youths who escaped late Sunday from the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School for juvenile offenders was captured yesterday evening while attempting to steal a bicycle in Essex, authorities said.

About 7:30 p.m., Baltimore County police officers responding to a report of an attempted bicycle theft in the 800 block of Creek Road arrested a 16-year-old boy.

Moments later, police learned the boy was one of the 10 who escaped from Hickey by overpowering two female counselors and cutting a hole in a fence with a cable cutter. All were being held on felony charges.

By Monday afternoon, seven escapees had been captured at various locations, while two others returned to the school on their own or with a parent. Eight of them have since been transferred to the Baltimore City Juvenile Detention Center on North Gay Street.

The mass escape is being investigated by the state's Department of Juvenile Services and the state police.

Richard Irwin

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