GO ITEM #3
Government Operations and
Josh Hamlin, Legislative
Bill 21-15, Finance - Renters' Property Tax Relief Supplement
Bill 21-15, Finance Renters' Property Tax Relief Supplement, sponsored by Lead
Sponsor Councilmember EIrich was introduced on May 5, 2015. A public hearing was held on
June 9. The Fiscal and Economic Impact Statement is at
Bill 21-15 would require the Director of Finance to pay a Renters' Property Tax Relief
Supplement to certain residents who qualify for a payment from the State under the State "Renters'
Tax Credit Program" (see ©9-13). The State payment to renters is modeled after the Homeowners'
. Tax Credit (commonly referred to as the "Circuit Breaker"), and is based on the premise that a
portion of rent paid by renters is attributable to property tax paid by the owner of the property.
The purpose of the State payment is to return some of that money to renters in the same way it is
returned to homeowners through the Circuit Breaker payment.
Bill 21-15 would create a supplemental payment similar in character to the County
supplement to the Circuit Breaker payment under Section 52-11 A of the County Code. Eligibility
for the County supplement would
tied to eligibility for the State payment. The County
supplement under the Bill would be 50% of the State payment, which is capped at $750.
Public Hearing and Correspondence
A public hearing on the Bill was held on June 9,2015, and there was one speaker. Ilana
Branda of the Montgomery Housing Partnership (MHP) testified in support of the Bill
saying that the Bill would put more money in the hands of its most vulnerable residents. She
indicated that the County payment would result in almost 500 households having an additional
$130, enough to cover a family'S portion of reduced price meals at a Montgomery County
elementary school. The Community Action Board (CAB) also indicated its support for Bill 21
15, in a letter dated July 1 (©16-1S), saying that a renters' tax credit payment could "provide a
small amount of assistance to residents who are struggling to make ends meet."