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Testimony for Montgomery County Delegation December 17, 2008 by Richard L. Strombotne 310 High Gables Drive #205 Gaithersburg, MD 20878 MC 906-09, Montgomery County - Property Tax - Classes of Property and Special Rates [support Delegate Alfred Carr’s local bill MC 906-09 to authorize the Montgomery County Couneil to establish separate property tax rates for different classes of real property. This would give the Montgomery County Council the same authority that my home city of Gaithersburg. all other municipalities in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and counties in Virginia already have Because counties in Maryland have to set a uniform property tax rate irrespective of the differences between residential property and commercial real property, the Montgomery County Council has had to devise roundabout ways to provide a modicum of tax relief to residential property owners. For example, this year, ata time of increasing costs of electricity, the Council increased the energy tax by 6.6 percent. For the full year, the energy tax on my electrical use amounts to more than $60. When I complained about the energy tax some time ago I was told that businesses use a lot of energy/electricity and that the energy tax was a way to increase revenues for county services that would be less of a burden for residential property owne Montgomery County has been in the forefront of using the Supplemental Homeowners Tax Credit to give property tax relief to poor, low-income homeowners. This is a good thing. But one of the reasons why the supplemental homeowner tax credit is needed is the high residential property tax. ‘The authority to set separate tax rates for different classes of real property would permit the Council to restore the balance between revenues raised from residential property owners and revenues raised from commercial property owners. “The share of total County taxes paid by non- residential properties and businesses declined five percentage points (from 21 to 16 percent) between fiscal years 1986 and 2008.”is a quote from the Working Group Report on Infrastructure Financing for County Gavernment Facilities - October 2007 [urge you to give a favorable report to MC 906-09.