A $100 rebate check could end up in the mailboxes of Frederick County residents this year whose property tax bill is higher than $100.

Commissioners President Blaine Young announced Tuesday he will propose the refund at Thursday's board meeting.

"We believe injecting $9 million into Frederick County communities is worthwhile," Young said. "This is going to be real money in people's pockets. They can do with it what they want."

The roughly 86,000 property taxpayers in the county whose bill is more than $100 would get the rebate checks in the mail, Young said. The 4,000 who pay less than $100 would get a credit on their bill.

The proposal would replace Young's plan from December to offer a 3- or 4-cent decrease in the property tax rate.

Young said he can't recommend to lower the tax rate until the county has a better idea of what the state and federal governments plan to do to balance their budgets.

The county touted a $27 million surplus in December due to reductions made last year and better-than-expected revenue from income tax collection. Some of that money is in jeopardy because the state has proposed shifting teacher pension costs to the counties, officials have said.

Young said the rebate checks were a better alternative because it would be equal across the board.

"People know how to spend their money better than we know how to spend it," Young said.

By proposing the rebate to the rest of the Board of County Commissioners, Young will seek their approval to have the county finance department work the plan into the annual budget, which will be adopted in June.

The announcement came Tuesday after the commissioners held a public hearing to discuss the county's capital improvement program for the next six years.

The proposal, which will also be adopted as part of the budget, calls for funding 100 projects during that time, which total $477 million. The money would be used mostly for school construction projects, but also for road work, fire and rescue building renovations, improvements to water and sewer lines, and for parks and recreation.

Several residents came out to support the funding in the coming year's budget for constructing a new North Frederick Elementary School building.

They said the current building poses a health risk to students and teachers because of its age.

"We will not go away and we will not give up without a fight," Jennifer Cole said. "Our school community deserves it."

The commissioners said they intend to stand by their promise to move the project up a year so that construction can begin this coming year.

"This board is committed to North Frederick Elementary," Commissioner Paul Smith said. "It's going to happen."

The capital improvement projects plan is expected to be completed in May and voted on for final approval in June.

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