Report from Stakeholders Meeting on Residents’ Tax

Report from Stakeholders Meeting on Residents’ Tax

Winning the War, Before the Battle Begins – Condo Owners Not Taxed

White Flint District Meeting, August 18, 2010 at 10 a.m. 

Call it effective activism, being ahead of the ‘curve, or common sense prevails, but on Wednesday morning last week, a group of residential property owner representatives and interested citizens joined the regular group of primarily commercial property owners and the County representatives at the White Flint District meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to review the current Executive Branch’s proposal (it was continually reiterated that the draft has not been viewed nor approved by the County Executive himself) for the White Flint Development Tax District. We are pleased to report that the new proposal does NOT include existing residential condominium buildings in the proposed Development Tax District, and these properties would only be added in the future if they were to redevelop. Thank you to everyone that had contacted the County Executive and his staff and Council members over the past several weeks to remind them that the existing residential condominium community’s support of the White Sector Plan was dependent on being excluded from new taxing district.  Further, as Paul Meyer pointed out, and the Executive staff agreed were important points:

  •  ·         Many of the older residents will hear the noise of construction, but not see and receive benefits from the fruits of the final product
  • ·         the majority of these existing residential owners are on fixed incomes and would be adversely  impacted by an increase in taxes and/or condominium fees, particularly if they did not own their property the next 20-40 years, to utilize the benefits of the transportation improvements or increased property values like the commercial property owners
  • ·         Many of the residents supported the White Flint Sector Plan, but if they had to pay a special unexpected tax tied to funding Sector Plan infrastructure, many would be against the Plan  
  • The significant main remaining issues with the development tax district discussion appear to be: 

    •         How the County will confirm its commitment to make the planned improvements and its commitment to cover any gap in the financing needed to make improvements in accordance with the timing of the phased Sector Plan
    •          Whether there will be a cap for the commercial property owner tax rates for the district
    •         Whether the commercial property owners paying this tax will also be required to pay impact taxes.  

    Although there may not be consensus on these items before the proposal is formally submitted to the Council by the Executive, the goal was to submit the proposal this fall so this Council -the same one that approved the Sector Plan – can approve the legislation. We’ll stay tuned to see how these issues are addressed and to confirm that the description of the new district does indeed exclude the existing residential condominium properties.        

    Todd Lewers

    Barnaby Zall


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