There is a Bill pending in the Maryland House of Delegates to which I would like to call your attention. This House of Delegates Bill, HB1409, sponsored by local Delegate Wendell Beitzel, is very important to those who live or own property in Garrett County which is why I am sending this eBlast to you. The State of Maryland over time has purchased and now owns over 90,000 acres of land in Garrett County. Because the state owns the land, it cannot be taxed by the county to provide revenue for services and projects as is the case with other privately owned property. Currently, the state shares a portion of the revenue gained from the harvesting of timber grown on the land. However, revenue for the county is dependent on whether any timber is harvested which constitutes a revenue stream on which county leaders cannot depend for planning purposes.
The companion Maryland Senate Bill, SB263, was introduced by Senator George Edwards and has been approved by the Senate 46-0. SB263/HB1409 will change the current system in the State of Maryland, "...requiring specified payments to counties for State forests, State parks, and wildlife management areas that are exempt from the property tax; providing for a payment of $250,000 for each open space unit in specified counties beginning in fiscal year 2018..." An open space unit, for the purposes of this bill, is defined as 10,000 acres. Garrett County has 9 units and would stand to gain approximately $2.25M in revenue annually if the bill is successfully passed by the House of Delegates.
Your POA Board provided emails of support for the Senate Bill prior to its passage. They will be encouraged to do the same for the HB1409 so that much needed revenue may be received for lands in the county that are exempt from property taxes. This matter is all about fairness regarding land exempt from taxing.
If you believe HB1409 is important to the overall wellbeing of Garrett County and its property owners, I encourage you to send an email requesting the bill receive a Favorable Report from the Environment & Transportation Committee. The email should be sent to Del. Wendell Beitzel at
and his staff will insure it is forwarded to appropriate delegates in the House. If you are a resident of Maryland, you may also wish to send an email to your delegate.
Thanks for your continuing support.