January 10, 2019

Dear Friends,
Happy New Year!
The Prince George's County Council is off to a strong start in 2019. We held our annual retreat at The Hotel at the University of Maryland earlier this week. Review our agenda and the PowerPoint presentations from the two-day retreat online at the Council's 2019 Retreat page .
As last year the Council voted to update our committee structure. I'm very pleased to chair the Council's Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee for the 2019 legislative year. The other Council committees are: Education and Workforce Development (EWD); Health, Human Services and Public Safety (HSPS); Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GOFP); Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (TIEE); and General Assembly.

Our first District Council session will take place on Monday, January 14 with our first County Council session on Tuesday, January 15. I anticipate committee meetings will begin next week or shortly thereafter.

You can follow Council agendas and watch live or archived meetings online here. View legislation here. Sign up for the weekly wrap-up of Council activity, Council Connection email newsletter, here.

This afternoon County Executive Alsobrooks will join with  Prince George's Community College President Dr. Charlene Dukes, United Way President & CEO Rosie Allen-Herring and other county and regional partners to announce their collective efforts to assist County residents affected by the partial government shutdown.  I am also working to pull together a list of resources in District 3. Please watch social media and a possible separate email newsletter for more information.

Winter weather is here. In case of snow, please be sure to park on the EVEN numbered side of the street. All cars on the even side of the street will ensure the snow plows can access your street. Additional information, including helpful tips can be found online here.

One-third of the homes in the County are reassessed each year by the State ensuring each home is reassessed every three years. A large portion of District 3 homes were reassessed in 2018.
If you received an assessment notice and feel the Total New Market Value on your notice does not reflect the market value of your property, you may appeal your property assessment. Find more information on the appeal process hereYou may also call the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation at (888) 246-5941 for more information.
It is safe to say that nearly all homes were assessed for more this year than in 2015.  While one might assume a 25% higher assessment, for example, means you will pay 25% more County taxes this year, this is not the case.
The County's real property tax revenue capacity is not fully realized due to the structure of the County's Homestead Tax Credit. This credit caps the growth of owner-occupied property assessments. While the County is allowed by the State to assess up to 10% of the new rate, a ballot referendum in the early 90's amended the County Charter to tie our increase to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or up to 5%, whichever is lowest.
This year the CPI is 2%, which means homeowners will pay just 2% more than last year, no matter what percentage their home value increased. Prince George's County's rate is likely one of the lowest set by any county in Maryland this year. Please take a moment to search the Real Property Database to be sure you have applied for the Homestead Property Tax Credit to ensure this cap applies to your home.  If your total household income is less than $60,000 you may qualify for the Homeowners Property Tax Credit

The Maryland Renters' Tax Credit Program and Prince George's County Renters' Property Tax Relief Supplement, which I sponsored in 2015, assist Prince Georgians who rent. Learn more.
One of my top priorities is to support our business owners and entrepreneurs throughout the County and promote redevelopment to increase our commercial tax base to relieve the pressure on our residential taxes.

As we begin this year, I am continuing to reflect on the final lines of my speech at the 2018 Inauguration:

Only together can the gifts of Prince George's County be shared and unwrapped by all.
Only together can we strengthen our County, our communities, our families and realize our fullest potential.
Only together as one County, can our tapestry, our story, and our County shine bright.
There is no challenge before us that we cannot solve when we act as a community and make use of all our talents. There cannot be any hidden figures if we are to capture the abundance and opportunity that is Prince George's.
I am deeply grateful for your engagement in the work of the Prince George's County Council and for your commitment to our future. Here's to an exciting year!
Together Strengthening our Community,

P.S. I'm active on social media! If you are, too, please engage with me on Facebook or Twitter.

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Thomas Mayah
Thank you to all who reached out with sympathy, support, and remembrances of long-time District 3 team member Thomas Mayah, who passed away in December. Your words meant a great deal to our staff and Thomas's family. 

Do you know about Junior Achievement Finance Park? All PGCPS 8th graders complete this multi-week financial literacy program and spend one day in "real life" situations. Volunteer to spend a day with 8th graders at the Junior Achievement Finance Park. This is an excellent volunteer opportunity for individuals and groups.  Learn more! !  

Prince George's Police Athletic League

The  Prince George's County Police Athletic League is a juvenile crime prevention program that uses mentoring, educational, athletic and recreational activities to create trust and understanding between law enforcement and youth. PGPAL offers free and low cost programs for youth throughout the year. The PAL Tennis Program begins on Saturday, January 13 in partnership with the Junior Tennis Championship Center in College Park. Learn more.

 Contact Your
D3 Team

Wanda Brooks 
Citizen Services Specialist
Alvinia Kelly
Office Manager & Scheduler
Aimee Olivo 
Chief of Staff
Alina Smith
Latino Liaison
Alesha Wilson
Community Outreach & Special Projects Coordinator

If you have received this e-news from someone other than my office, and are interested in receiving this update directly, please email CouncilDistrict3@co.pg.md.us or call (301) 952-3060.