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Executive Kittleman announces legislation to give $2,500 property tax credit to county’s first-responders

Executive Kittleman announces legislation to give $2,500 property tax credit to county’s first-responders

December 14, 2017

Media Contacts: 
Deidre McCabe, Director of Strategic Planning and Communications, 410-313-4023
Paul Milton, Special Assistant to the County Executive, 410-313-4439

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman today announced plans to file legislation that would, when fully implemented, provide a $2,500 annual property tax credit for public safety members who reside in Howard County.

Kittleman said the legislation, if approved by the County Council, would provide a partial tax credit for county police, sheriff, correctional officers, emergency medical personnel and paid and volunteer firefighters in 2019 with full credits implemented in 2020. The legislation is expected to be pre-filed with the Council next week. 

“I’m reminded every day that our first-responders do so much to keep us safe and secure,” said Kittleman. “It’s now our turn to do something for them. This tax credit is one way of showing our appreciation by making it possible for more of these local heroes to live in the community they serve.”

Once enacted, the legislation would save county first-responders a combined estimated $1.6 million in property taxes in 2020, the first full year that the credits would be in place under the Kittleman proposal. 

Earlier this year, the Maryland General Assembly passed enabling legislation that allowed local jurisdictions to enact laws giving public safety officers a tax credit up to $2,500 annually. Once the state law passed, Kittleman directed his budget office to finalize the county’s plan. 

“We want our public safety members to not only feel that this is a great place to serve, but also a great place to live,” said Kittleman. “This tax credit can save them hundreds of dollars a month on their mortgage payment and that can be the difference between living here in Howard County or somewhere else.” 

Kittleman said the tax credit will also help the county with recruiting and then retaining those hired.

“We are a very community-oriented police department, so creating opportunities for officers to live in Howard County is certainly a positive effort,” said Police Chief Gary Gardner. 

Fire Chief John Butler agrees. “We have a strong combined system of volunteer and career firefighters and paramedics. This benefit will help our members live in the communities they serve.”

Earlier this month, Kittleman announced that Howard County residents have taken advantage of more than $2.2 million in new property tax credits since the beginning of fiscal year 2018 which began July 1. The majority of those credits were given to residents who applied for the senior and aging-in-place tax credits. Other tax credits assist those living on agricultural land and making homes more handicap accessible or environmentally friendly.