Council At-Large debate shows differences in Democrat candidates

  • Published in Local

From left: Gabe Albornoz, Shruti Bhatnagar, Brandy Brooks, Hoan Dang, Lorna Phillips Forde, Danielle Meitiv and Hans Riemer. PHOTO BY GLYNIS KAZANJIANFrom left: Gabe Albornoz, Shruti Bhatnagar, Brandy Brooks, Hoan Dang, Lorna Phillips Forde, Danielle Meitiv and Hans Riemer. PHOTO BY GLYNIS KAZANJIAN  Key differences in governing styles began to emerge Wednesday at a Democratic debate held for seven of the 30 candidates running for four at-large seats on the Montgomery County Council.

The debate was the last in a series of four hosted by the County’s real estate and property management groups. The hosts included the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors, the Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington and the Maryland Building Industry Association.

Three at-large seats and one district seat on the Council have opened up this year due to newly-imposed term limits. Council President Hans Riemer, an incumbent at-large member, is running for a third and final term on the Council.

Many of the questions asked during the debate related to taxes, fees, economic growth and business competition.

While all the candidates said they supported a 2016 recordation tax increase that helped pay for needed school construction projects, only one candidate in the group said she was open to reducing it.


Council hears objection to subsidizing Marriott International Headquarters

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ROCKVILLE – After Marriott executives announced they would keeping their International Headquarters in the County and would move to downtown Bethesda, County Council members said they are considering spending $11 million to help fund the project.

Money for the project would come from the recently passed recordation tax premium and would be designated for planning, infrastructure design and construction cost for Marriott’s newly proposed $500 million in downtown Bethesda, according to County Executive Ike Leggett.

“Regrettably this is a fundamental tenet of economic development these days, so these issues come up, people could say that about just about everything we do, ‘You shouldn't do this, you should do something else.’ But I think the council is united in cutting the deal with Marriott and it’s great to have the partnership of the state here,” said Council member Nancy Floreen (D-At large).


New laws will affect home sales


If your home has been listed for sale through the summer without procuring a buyer, don’t be surprised about the two new laws that will most likely affect your sale. Homeowners, who will be listing their home for sale in the fall, will most likely be advised by their real estate agents. Of course, I am talking about the increased county recordation tax and the new radon-testing requirement. 


County makes recordation tax official

  • Published in Local

Last week, the Montgomery County Council approved an increase on the County’s recordation tax in order to support funding to decrease school overcrowding.

The council voted unanimously May 18 to increase the recordation tax, which levied when a home is bought, sold or refinanced. Now the recordation tax on a $400,000 home will increased from $2,415 to $2670 and for a $500,000 home the recordation tax will be increased from $3,105 to $3,560.

The council voted to increase the recordation tax by $1 per $500 of assessed value for housing transactions and 75 cents per $500 on the recordation tax premium for homes accessed at $500,000 and over.

Council members expect the tax to generate $200 million over six years. The revenue is set to pay for school construction for Montgomery County Public Schools as well as infrastructure improvements.


Tax protesters take on county

  • Published in Local

Recordation Tax ProtestTax protesters show up to take on the County Council. PHOTO BY MARK POETKERROCKVILLE—Tuesday afternoon’s hearing at the Montgomery County Council chambers was a familiar debate for residents: increased taxes versus school funding.

Protesters gathered in a packed council hearing room as the council listened to testimony from residents supporting and opposed to the proposed recordation tax increase.

Bill 15-16, introduced by Council President Nancy Floreen, proposes raising the recordation tax, a tax levied when homes are sold or refinanced, by 21.7 percent to accommodate Montgomery County Public Schools’ growing budget. If passed, a $600,000 home would see their tentative recordation tax increased from $4,105 to $5080.

The expedited bill would raise $155 million for capital projects and $30 million for rental assistance over the next six years. If passed, the tax would take effect beginning July 1.


Floreen's plan to increase your taxes

The legislative process encourages discourse for proposed legislation.  The result is a bill that is passed or defeated.  Regardless, proposed housing market and real estate legislation is not typically exciting; and in fact the minutia of the bill can be downright boring and/or confusing.  However, there are occasions when proposed legislation has the potential to affect home owners and buyers such that it can create a brouhaha.

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