For Immediate Release-
Charles Co. Commissioners Lobby for New Impact Tax; Push Affordable Housing Further Out of Reach for Local Teachers, Law Enforcement, Charles Co. Residents
March 16, 2017- Earlier this week, SMAR leaders and representatives of the Charles County business and farming industries convened to review harmful new legislation being introduced late in the legislative session by Commissioners Murphy, Robinson and Stewart which would add a new impact fee, or tax, to any new construction and development in Charles County. For example, any farmer wishing to subdivide a lot for future generations; a homeowner wishing to build on existing land- would all be charged this new tax with a purpose to raise revenues into a “special fund”.
This tax would come in addition to the existing development excise tax of $14,095 for single family homes, $14,210 for townhomes or $11,930 for multifamily dwellings; all of these which are not taxed in St. Mary’s County at all and which run $7,800 in Calvert County. Adding this new tax would continue to keep Charles County at the highest rate in almost every category for all costs when considering where to move as a homeowner in Southern Maryland- real property tax, personal property tax, emergency services, income tax, recordation fee and the new 2016 transfer tax. The newly enacted transfer tax alone in 2016 raised Charles County $5 million in generated revenue, as of November 2016.
Adding another fee with the real goal to curb county development not only hurts the overall economic growth of the county and its operating budget, which is heavily funded by homeowners, it continues to drive the cost of home ownership out of reach for those who serve our community- local teachers, law enforcement, and hospital workers. In a county where it takes an average of almost 17 years to save a 20% down payment of $41,000 for a first home based on the current house affordability in Charles County, adding new fees only ends the dream of owning a home all together for prospective buyers.
We urge the Education Association of Charles County, Fraternal Order of Police and other groups who would like community leaders to live in the community they serve to reach out to Commissioners Murphy, Robinson and Stewart and ask them to withdraw their legislation. On behalf of over 1,500 members and all property owners in Southern Maryland, we know this will only hurt future home owners in our region and will urge our constituents to do the same. The Charles County Board of Commissioners can be reached at 301-645-0550 and email CitizenResponse@charlescountymd.gov
Please contact Theresa Kuhns, Government Affairs Director, for comment: 301-274-4406