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NEWS
January 7, 2014
Before Harford County entertains even a notion of levying a fire tax to support the local volunteer fire and ambulance service, the citizens need to have full access to the local fire company books. During a recent meeting of a county government commission reviewing the organization of the various volunteer fire and ambulance companies that provide an important public service, the idea of levying a special tax that would be dedicated to the fire and ambulance service was broached.
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NEWS
January 7, 2014
Before Harford County entertains even a notion of levying a fire tax to support the local volunteer fire and ambulance service, the citizens need to have full access to the local fire company books. During a recent meeting of a county government commission reviewing the organization of the various volunteer fire and ambulance companies that provide an important public service, the idea of levying a special tax that would be dedicated to the fire and ambulance service was broached.
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NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel and Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | February 23, 2012
The Howard County Council is being asked to take a fresh look at an old - and much-debated - tax issue. A bill prefiled at the request of County Executive Ken Ulman seeks to end the two-tiered fire tax and replace it with a single countywide rate. Howard is the only Maryland county to have two tax rates to fund fire service, Ulman said, and most counties don't levy a separate tax for fire and rescue services, funding them through general revenues. The bill will be formally introduced to the County Council at a legislative session March 5, with a public hearing scheduled for March 19. Ulman said he hopes the measure will be adopted quickly so that it can be part of planning for the next fiscal year's budget.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | May 10, 2012
When units from Ellicott City's fire Station 8 roll out on a cardiac arrest call, each crew member already knows who will start chest compressions, who will operate the defibrillator and who will provide artificial respiration to get oxygen flowing to the brain and heart. It might sound like an obvious plan. But the advance coordination is part of a new effort by Howard County's first responders to get quicker and more efficient help to those in urgent need. "Believe it or not, this is groundbreaking," said Dr. Kevin G. Seaman, the medical director of the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | March 15, 2012
A bill proposed by the Howard County executive would eliminate a two-tiered fire tax system and could garner about $1.8 million in revenue, county officials said. Howard, unlike the rest of Maryland, has two fire tax rates: one for the more densely populated eastern part of the county and another, which costs 2 cents less, for the more rural west. Some western residents say the current system is fair because they benefit less from county services. But County Executive Ken Ulman says the west receives the same fire service as the east and should pay the same rate — as western residents do for other county services, such as school and police.
NEWS
By Frank Langfitt and Frank Langfitt,Staff Writer | April 1, 1993
The Howard County legislative delegation killed an attempt yesterday to create a uniform fire tax in the county.The 4-3 vote spelled defeat for the County Council, which had pushed the plan. The council is expected to consider an alternative system with two tax rates at a meeting Wednesday.A uniform tax would have consolidated an antiquated system that divides Howard County into six districts where residents pay widely varying rates for essentially the same fire service."I think eventually we will need one fire district," said County Executive Charles I. Ecker, who supported the uniform rate.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,SUN STAFF | December 17, 1999
Revisiting an idea that sparked controversy -- and rejection -- earlier this decade, Howard County Executive James N. Robey wants all county taxpayers billed the same tax rate for fire protection.Robey is asking the county's General Assembly delegation to approve legislation to allow the move -- which would consolidate the county's two tax districts into one. Howard had six fire tax districts until 1993, when they were cut to two.Homeowners in the eastern part of the county, who live in areas served by public water and sewer, pay 27 cents per $100 of assessed value for fire protection, but western area residents pay 22 cents.
NEWS
By James M. Coram and James M. Coram,Staff Writer | October 15, 1992
The county wants to fix its antiquated fire tax system but doesn't know how."If someone has a bright idea, we want it," said James H. Eacker. He is chairman of a 14-member committee appointed by County Executive Charles I. Ecker and Councilwoman Shane Pendergrass, D-1st, to look at the fire tax system and make recommendations for improving it.The committee will hold public hearings on the fire tax at 7:30 tonight in the county office building and at 7:30...
NEWS
By Hanah Cho and Hanah Cho,SUN STAFF | February 23, 2004
The Carroll County commissioners thought they had an equitable solution to a dilemma in the fast-growing county. They believed a tax on real estate transactions would hit the fewest Carroll residents while paying for an increased demand on government services brought on by growth. But when the state delegation rejected their proposal last month, the commissioners were left empty-handed. Now the three Carroll officials are researching options to pay for schools and for police, fire and emergency services.
NEWS
By James M. Coram and James M. Coram,Staff Writer | February 22, 1993
County Executive Charles I. Ecker hopes his staff will be able to convince the County Council tonight to go ahead with his embattled fire tax proposal.Mr. Ecker wants to substitute two fire districts -- one rural and one urban -- and two sets of fire taxes for the six fire districts and six sets of fire taxes the county has now.A bill to accomplish that seemed doomed last week following a public hearing at which representatives of volunteer fire companies urged the County Council to defeat the measure.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | April 20, 2012
Howard County residents would see no property tax increase this year, but they could pay a higher fire tax under an $899 million budget proposal unveiled Friday by County Executive Ken Ulman. General fund spending, which represents money raised through local taxes and fees, would increase less than 3 percent. "It is really a maintenance budget," Ulman said of the spending plan that, if approved by the County Council, would take effect July 1. A state budget impasse has left state aid up in the air and the question of who will pay teacher pension costs unresolved, but Ulman said his plan is based on a deal made but not passed before time ran out on this year's General Assembly session.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | March 29, 2012
All Howard County residents will pay the same rate for fire services, the council decided Thursday night in a move that brings Howard in line with the rest of the state. The bill, introduced March 5 at the request of County Executive Ken Ulman, will eliminate separate tax rates for the more populated eastern part of the county and the rural western end, which traditionally has paid less. Howard is the only county in Maryland to have two rates to fund fire services. "We are one county and we are providing the same level of service," said Councilwoman Courtney Watson, an Ellicott City Democrat, before casting her vote in favor of the bill.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | March 15, 2012
A bill proposed by the Howard County executive would eliminate a two-tiered fire tax system and could garner about $1.8 million in revenue, county officials said. Howard, unlike the rest of Maryland, has two fire tax rates: one for the more densely populated eastern part of the county and another, which costs 2 cents less, for the more rural west. Some western residents say the current system is fair because they benefit less from county services. But County Executive Ken Ulman says the west receives the same fire service as the east and should pay the same rate — as western residents do for other county services, such as school and police.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel and Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | February 23, 2012
The Howard County Council is being asked to take a fresh look at an old - and much-debated - tax issue. A bill prefiled at the request of County Executive Ken Ulman seeks to end the two-tiered fire tax and replace it with a single countywide rate. Howard is the only Maryland county to have two tax rates to fund fire service, Ulman said, and most counties don't levy a separate tax for fire and rescue services, funding them through general revenues. The bill will be formally introduced to the County Council at a legislative session March 5, with a public hearing scheduled for March 19. Ulman said he hopes the measure will be adopted quickly so that it can be part of planning for the next fiscal year's budget.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,sun reporter | May 25, 2007
For all the weeks of study and debate, the hundreds of questions asked and dozens of amendments offered, the new Howard County Council made almost no changes in County Executive Ken Ulman's first budget, which takes effect July 1. In passing a $1.3 billion operating budget and a $354 million capital spending plan, the council's only substantial change was to remove $1.6 million from a fire department contingency fund and use it to limit the fire property...
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,sun reporter | May 23, 2007
Howard County Councilman Greg Fox has attracted interest from Democratic colleagues for an idea to reduce the proposed fire property tax increase when the council votes at noon today on the county executive's $1.3 billion budget. Fox, a western county Republican, has proposed cutting $1.6 million from the fire department's rural contingency fund - enough to eliminate an extra 2-cent tax rate increase in the rural parts of the county without directly cutting fire services. The rural area of Howard pays slightly less in fire taxes, which are dedicated for fire department use, on the theory that without public water and sewers, residents there get slightly less in fire services.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,SUN STAFF | January 2, 2000
For want of one vote, Howard County's delegation to the House of Delegates is refusing to consider a proposal to revamp the county's unusual fire tax system. Democratic Del. Elizabeth Bobo and the county's three Republican delegates created a 4-4 deadlock in the county's House delegation -- blocking any vote, or even a hearing, on the issue this year. The vote, which was taken by mail ballot, was tallied last week. The county's three senators said they are willing to give the idea a hearing as a courtesy to County Executive James N. Robey, who proposed the tax change.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,sun reporter | April 25, 2007
Republican Greg Fox's goal was clear yesterday as the new Howard County Council held its first budget review - find a way to eliminate an increase in the fire property tax proposed by County Executive Ken Ulman. In theory, that might not seem too difficult. Just find $7.7 million to cut from other capital projects in the $354 million budget to pay for the fire service improvements Fox wants and that the tax revenue would provide. The tough part for Fox might be attracting two more votes from the council's four Democrats.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,SUN REPORTER | May 20, 2007
After spending weeks at tortuously long meetings trying vainly to agree on potential budget cuts, the Howard County Council is running out of time. Any changes to County Executive Ken Ulman's $1.3 billion spending plan must be filed by 2 p.m. tomorrow, before the final vote at noon Wednesday. This year's review of the budget was in sharp contrast to last year's, when a veteran group of council members whisked through departmental reviews in record time and made no major changes in outgoing executive James N. Robey's spending plan.
NEWS
By Larry Carson | May 6, 2007
County Councilman Greg Fox faces a daunting task if he wants to fulfill his hope of trimming or eliminating a proposed fire property-tax increase for fiscal year 2008. The Howard County Council's only Republican must win support from at least two Democrats to prevail, while County Executive Ken Ulman can appeal to his fellow Democrats, who supported him in last year's election. Council members say they are working for the county's benefit and are not driven by political partisanship, but those "D's" and "R's" next to their names do mean something, after all. "They've all been very open, very congenial," Fox said about his Democratic council colleagues, noting that his suggestions on the recently modified property tax cut for seniors got serious consideration and made a difference.
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