GO ITEM 1
October 20, 2014
October 16, 2014
Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee
Josh Hamlin, Legislative
Worksession: Bill 17-14, Property Tax Credit - Senior Citizens of Limited
Bill 17-14, Property Tax Credit Senior Citizens of Limited Income, sponsored by
CounciLmembers Riemer, Andrews, Floreen, Branson, Navarro and Berliner, was introduced on
March 4,2014. A public hearing was held on April 29.
Bill 17-14 would double the amount of each year's property tax credit for senior citizens
of limited income from 25% to 50% of the State and County Homeowners' Property Tax Credit
awarded in that year.
Current County law allows a property tax credit for homeowners at least 70 years old
who qualify for the County supplement to the State Homeowners' Property Tax Credit ("circuit
breaker"). The amount of the current credit is 25% of the circuit-breaker supplement that the
taxpayer receives in that tax year. The taxpayer does not have to apply separately for this credit.
The taxpayer's application for the circuit-breaker credit serves to determine eligibility, as long as
the taxpayer shows that an owner-occupant of the property is at least 70 years old.
The 25% credit was established in 2006 by Bill 35-06 after the Maryland General
Assembly enabled counties to establish a credit. During discussion of Bill 35-06, the
Commission on Aging recommended setting the amount of the credit at 50%, but Bill 35-06 was
enacted with the credit set at 25%.
There were three speakers at the public hearing. Joseph Beach, Director of Finance
testified on behalf of the Executive in support of the Bill (©9). He pointed out that since 2009,
the number of people aged 60 and over living at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty level
(FPL) has increased 30 percent, and the number living between lOO and 149 percent of the FPL
has risen 19 percent. Rudolph Oswald, co-chair of the Public Policy Committee of the
Commission on Aging, expressed the Commission's strong support for the Bill as an important
tool to help many senior citizens stay in their homes (©lO). Finally, Greg Ford, 2014 President