Maryland Delegate Galen Clagett says Frederick County's leaders should consider raising local income taxes to help pay for school construction and other capital projects.

Clagett floated the idea Tuesday afternoon to a work group tasked with discussing county growth planning strategies. The group is looking at how the county should pay for infrastructure expansion to serve the growing population of students, drivers and library patrons.

Frederick County's current income tax rate sits at 2.96 percent, but state law permits local governments to charge up to 3.2 percent, Clagett noted. If Frederick County officials decided to raise the tax, they could dedicate the increase to capital improvements, said Clagett, D-District 3A.

"That's a progressive tax. It hits everybody equally," he told other members of the work group.

By contrast, transfer taxes levied when properties are sold and impact fees charged to developers place the burden of infrastructure funding on select groups, he said.

County Manager Lori Depies, who is heading up the task force, said Clagett's idea had merit and recommended including it in the group's report to county commissioners. However, she asked the rest of the group for feedback, since raising the income tax rates could have significant implications for county residents.

"In a fragile economy, an increase in the income tax rate, what is that going to do to the groups that we represent?" she asked.

Work group member RaeAnn Butler, who is also chairwoman of the Frederick County Commission on Aging, said elderly residents of Frederick County can't afford an increase in income taxes.

During the meeting's public comment portion, Carol Krimm, another member of the Commission on Aging, also voiced concern.

"Any extra taxes on seniors may cause undo hardships for them," said Krimm, also an alderwoman in the city of Frederick.

Clagett said low-income seniors would be exempt from the increase.

Clagett also suggested rerouting recordation tax proceeds so all the money feeds the county's capital budget. Revenue from the recordation tax is currently divided between the general fund, agricultural preservation programs and school construction projects, among other categories. But rather than dedicating revenue streams to certain types of projects, capital funding should flow into one pot to allow greater flexibility during the budgeting process, Clagett argued.

The state delegate acknowledged such a shift in the recordation tax, which brought more than $24.3 million to county coffers in fiscal 2013, couldn't happen overnight.

Darrell Batson, the county's director of public libraries, said lumping all the funding together could leave certain types of projects out in the cold. When there's school crowding or need for additional fire and rescue services, it's hard to make a case for building a new park or library, he said.

"The problem with having a lack of dedicated streams of revenue for some of these, is they get lost when you're taking in the big picture," Batson said.

However, libraries and parks should still rank as a priority, he added.

Clagett agreed and said there would be ways of making sure these types of projects don't get edged out in the capital budgeting process.

Depies said she is starting to draft the work group's recommendations to county commissioners. The group's members do not have an interest in establishing a Frederick County transfer tax to fund infrastructure projects, Depies said.

Follow Bethany Rodgers on Twitter: @BethRodgersFNP.

(55) comments

Boss Hogg

Just a little mo' pork for me and my friends in low places.

stevem90999

I was waiting for this to happen. It's one thing about Blaine Young I don't like and that's all this talk about growth, development, etc., etc. All it brings is more, higher taxes, congestion, overcrowding and Crime. Emphasis on the Crime. Now we got this Clagett dude falling right in step with requesting higher taxes. It was a given!! And, it could be seen by many of us a mile away who were opposing all of this growth and development stuff!!

blogsta

This idea is half right. Frederick County's leaders should raise the income tax rate to the max 3.2%. But the extra money should be used to pay down debt. The school system already milks us all dry, so don't let them have this money too.

watson4sherlock

Better to use the assets of the rich to pay the debt when everything falls asunder. The poor are barely scrapping by as it is. There's a saying; you can't take it with you use it to pay the public debt.

blogsta

I agree ... once 'everything falls asunder'. When that happens, the rich will be there right there to help you. Until then, make everyone pay by raising the rate to the max 3.2%. Use the money wisely - pay down the county debt.

watson4sherlock

We always knew ultimately it would be the tax payers burden to pick up the cost of cleaning up the messes left by developers. Just say no to more irresponsible development. Build in the communities that already exist with water, sewer, schools, and emergency services and clean up the blight to make a better tomorrow for everyone.

watson4sherlock

Today is the day we are happy Clagett wasn't elected mayor.

Now you see his reasoning; one less cappuccino for him one less meal for someone else, but it's all equal.

"That's a progressive tax. It hits everybody equally," he told other members of the work group.

thump1202

this maryland citizen says "Get your hands out of my pocket" you greedy lowlife scum. I'll remember this and make sure that all of my neighbors and associates do so that come election day you no longer have any title to put behind your name but corporate shill.

tomgeiser

As Lennie would say, developers win! taxpayers lose!! Not to worry, all the NEW SUCKERS OOPS! I MEAN TAXPAYERS flocking here will solve the problem, YEA RIGHT! DEVELOPMENTS AND THEIR DEVELOPERS DO NOT PAY FOR THEMSELVES!! NEVER HAVE, NEVER WILL!

NASCARLOVER

The Revolution is coming...

CRACKER_LEE

[thumbup]

srpez2

Is Clagett for real? "Libraries and parks should still rank as a priority?" I can think of a few more important items in the budget than libraries and parks. How about enough roads and bridges to account for all your ridiculous uncontrolled growth, just for starters? how about controlling growth?

Want to understand "growth?" Check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QA2rkpBSY which gives very interesting and simple to understand discussion on the exponential quality of "sustained growth".

elymus43

What is needed now is a MORATORIUM on house building. The need for new roads, schools, and etc. is because the County is building all these new houses???? Stop building houses then we would not need new roads, schools, etc.???

nbouqu1

Clagett needs a refresher on the definition of "progressive tax"

"A tax that takes a larger percentage from the income of high-income earners than it does from low-income individuals."

his proposal is anything but progressive.

kare418

We lived in Frederick City until a year ago when we moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Our social security and retirement pension income are NOT taxed in SC and our property tax on a larger SC home is $650 per year. The property tax in Frederick on a 1700 sq ft home was $7000 per year. Staying in Frederick was financially stupid! The quality of living is great in our new SC locale.

Builders should be required support the increased need for schools, roads, water/sewer, etc. that their developments and not further burden residents due to increased taxes.

Comment deleted.
KellyAlzan

Wow!

You mention "hate", and all in the same breath you're grouping people in the Golden Mile corridor as the reason why higher taxes are necessary!

Somehow you forgot that the current BOCC is rubber stamping development without and regards, nor planning for road construction / improvements, along with school improvements / construction!

You're such a level headed individual, Mikecheapskate!

jerseygrl42

Isn't it heart warming to know that we can always count on claggett whenever the development communtity is in need of some cash flow ....earlier this year he sent a letter along with brinkley and a few others to MDE telling them to hurry up and approve the garbage incinerator permits, PRIOR to the final public hearing, how nice, especially with $ 3 Billion of TAXPAYER money in the balance....now he sees a need to increase taxes to pay for infra-structure needs after letting the developers off the hook and we've already seen some of the affects , $41 Million bond, complements of the BoCC to support Jefferson Tech park ( Sinclair) that will cost the taxpayers $101 Million to repay for a private exit/ entrance to I- 70 and that is nothing compared to the needs that will be created if the Linganore/Monrovia ridiculous expansions take place ...the numbers will be in the Biollions for schools, roadway expansion etc....and if claggett has his way the developers who will profit from all this building expansion will profit again through all the infra-structure expansion needs they will have created in the first place...double whammey for the taxpayers ....but is claggett concerned...not one bit I suspect........its all about the money folks

guido207

Excellent summary.[thumbup]

amault

Since the fed gov't doesn't want to allow local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws, I have a suggestion. How about rather than increasing taxes from the legal, working, tax-paying citizens of the county, the fed provides funds to support the schools overcrowded by the children of illegal immigrants - ie, Hillcrest? It's not reported in the article but one can assume that school is in the most dire need of capital improvements/expansion. If the fed doesn't want local authority to deport illegals then the fed can support them, not us.

[thumbup]

watson4sherlock

Perhaps the city, county, and state should offer to reimburse the feds for the costs of deporting illegal aliens so they can meet your demands.

For instance, in FY2013, 473 federal grants brought approximately $9.1 billion to Maryland’s State agencies, which in turn were invested in strengthening our communities. Over the past year, 71% of the grants we received in Maryland contributed to making progress on the 16 strategic policy goals we have identified to create jobs and expand opportunity in our State.

See http://grants.maryland.gov/annualreport2013/grants_report.pdf

teabiscuit

So, "amault", I am left to assume by this comment that you have knowledge of the immigration status of families living in the Hillcrest area the rest of the Frederick community is unaware of. Or you just presuming that all those families are here in the U.S. illegally because of their ethnicity? Sad commentary given the season.

dbjanda1

Is anyone not associated with government on this task force ???...It appears everyone in the article has their hands in the taxpayers pocket...Is this the first meeting that Clagett couldn't make and they wanted Afzali to fill in ???...Guess he made it for whatever reason and the first words outta his mouth is raise taxes...Blaine will put the necessity to raise taxes on the task force and claim it was not his fault...Blaine being Blaine, of course, it never is...Me

fredneckian

Sorry, I meant to say this justifies calling democrats socialists, but did a bad job of proof reading.

discreetboi21705

And not to bring up PA, and WV , but no wonder people are moving to PA and WV. way lower in tax.

Ballenger Creek Golfer

In terms of living in PA, if you live in the Township, you actually pay 1% more in taxes that if you lived in the Borough.

discreetboi21705

But my point being, it is much cheaper in taxes over living in MD.[wink]

Ballenger Creek Golfer

The taxes are about the same. But the Water and Sewer bill in PA is twice that than my house in MD mainly because in PA, you get a Sewer bill from the Borough and a seperate Water bill from the Township.

discreetboi21705

Friends have moved from MD to PA and have discredited your theory, aka lies.

discreetboi21705

Don't we pay enough in friggen taxes? How about you guys take some friggen pay cuts for once. Lay off a few of your dozen or so assistants each too while your at it.[angry]

Arcticdc5

Or cut programs, stop tax collecting for projects that are already completed, spend within the budget, etc. Those concepts can't be grasped by left leaning voters though.

fredneckian

"By contrast, transfer taxes levied when properties are sold and impact fees charged to developers place the burden of infrastructure funding on select groups, he said."

Yeah, the select groups that are necessitating the expense!

And some of you call the democrats socialists. The biggest welfare queens in this county are the builders, and the biggest ones in general in this country are businesses that government kisses up to. Ridiculous proposal.

Comment deleted.
japorciento

Mike: Clagett runs a real estate agency. He wants to redistribute the wealth from the working man to the fat cats, like himself. The reality is that the Young Board has cut all services to the poor. Both he and Clagett represent the idle rich.

scottp999

Yes, just keep taking a higher percentage of people's wages every year. That will end well. Just saw the rain tax notification from the city a few days ago. Keep taking from the productive and see what happens. The productive will leave (your tax base). Been in the county well over 3 decades, and the city for about half of those years. Saving to make an exit as fast as possible.

guido207

Blaine Young wants to raise our taxes AGAIN (the second time in the last two years)? Was this the real purpose behind staging his little Task Force (read: "Tax Farce")?

Clearly, Young believes developers haven't finished harvesting enough wealth from Frederick County Taxpayers.

Occasionally you hear Young and Kirby Delauter saying they are only doing what they were elected to do. Really? Did they run on a platform of destroying Frederick County taxpayers?

japorciento

Well said! Commissioner Young, a Conservative, lives in a different world; a world that exists only inside his head. For Young, if he "did" it (after the election) he "said" it before the election. He justifies everything he does by claiming that he's only doing what he promised.

He NEVER said he was going to raise the property taxes on the working man but he did. He NEVER said he would eliminate the developers impact fee and create a new transfer tax on all homeowners but that's what he wants to do. Now, his hand-picked, development interest packed "growth" task force wants to raise income taxes, too.

Young must now change his Conservative mantra. He can no longer say "I'm only doing what I promised I would do." He must now chant: I'm only doing what I REMEMBER promising to do.

alovelyplace

Interesting. This work group and FNP make no mention of an RFP to study impact fees posted on the FCG webpage yesterday am. Closing date for interested consultants is Jan. 7th.

For those who don't want to register their SSN's to find out more:
Summary:
Frederick County, Maryland (hereinafter called the “County”) is seeking proposals from qualified firms (hereinafter called the “Contractor”) for the provision of an update of the County’s Impact Fee Study, which will be a blending of an economic analysis with planning and the legal framework for the County to implement the Fee Program. The product will be a written analysis and update of the costs of necessary improvements attributable to new development. The final documents will consist of a review of the administrative procedures, fee calculations, and the existing impact fee ordinance, all designed to meet the objective of raising sufficient money to cover the cost incurred in servicing new or expanding development. Facilities to be included are schools and libraries.

DOCUMENT C – SPECIFICATIONS
1 BACKGROUND: The Finance Division’s mission is to effectively and efficiently manage the financial operations of Frederick County Government by implementing sound fiscal policies which will provide the County Commissioners and taxpayers of Frederick County with accurate, timely, financial information which can be effectively used in the decision making process; to protect the physical assets of the County thereby making it a safe place for County employees and visitors; to efficiently and effectively administer the property tax system and collection and safeguarding of County fiscal resources; and to purchase goods and services for the best value possible.
2 STATEMENT OF WORK: Frederick County, Maryland (the “County”) is seeking proposals from qualified firms (the “Contractor”) for the provision of consultant services for an impact fee study in accordance with the terms, conditions and specifications of this solicitation.
2.1 Frederick County will engage a consultant who will provide the County with an update of the County’s 1992 Development Impact Fee Study and Ordinance, which will be a blending of an economic analysis with planning and the legal framework for the County to implement the Fee Program. The product will be a written analysis and update of the costs of necessary improvements attributable to new development. The final documents will consist of a review of the administrative procedures, fee calculations, and the existing impact fee ordinance, all designed to meet the objective of raising sufficient money to cover the cost incurred in servicing new or expanding development. The product will also include the necessary computer software which will allow the County to conduct evaluations of the fees on an annual basis or such other interval as required.
2.2 In the update analysis, the consultant will consider, among other things, the legal justification (Rational Nexus) for the impact fee covering the cost of facilities attributable to new development. This shall include the methodology for determining the explicit level of service; developer benefits from fees; time periods within which fee must be spent; sound economic analysis of infrastructure needs; and proposed development as related to the County’s Capital Improvements Program and Comprehensive Plan for public schools and libraries. In preparing the update of the Impact Fee Study, the consultant will consider a legally defensible “fair share” exaction for the impact on capital facilities attributable to new development. The economic analysis will consider the cost of existing capital facilities; means of financing those; the extent to which development has contributed, will contribute and should be credited; extraordinary cost to serve or service new development; and a time-price differential for amounts paid at different times.
2.3 The report shall be submitted in a first draft which will be reviewed by the Impact Fee Steering Committee. After review the Committee shall meet with the consultant prior to preparation of the final draft.
2.4 Detailed Work Tasks:
2.4.1 TASK 1:
• Land Use Type (e.g., residential, institutional, commercial, industrial) Estimate Need for Service or Facility. Review and update the factors which affect the use of particular facilities for which the Impact Fee is to be designed. Factors which may be considered include:
• Land Use Intensity (e.g., dwellings per acre, floor area ratio)
• Location (e.g., urban, suburban, rural)
• Building Size (e.g., number of bedrooms, floor space)
2.4.2 TASK 2: Based upon the need for construction of facilities as indicated in the County’s Capital Improvements Program and Comprehensive Plan, identify and update the unit cost of new facilities attributable to the various types of land use (development) activity.
2.4.3 TASK 3: Determine capital costs of providing future construction including the County cost as well as funds, if any, provided by other sources (i.e., Municipal, State/Federal funds).

TASK 4: Provide methodology for determining levels of service utilizing standards based on national, State, or County data as expressed in the Adopted County Plans or other facility programs, where applicable. Based on the level of service standards, allocate costs attributable to new development to determine gross fee for the following facilities:
• Schools
• Libraries
2.4.5 TASK 5:
• Review and update the need to credit new development for other payments (other exactions, deductions, etc.).
• Develop a system to adjust the gross fee for developer contributions.
2.4.6 TASK 6: In addition to formulating the updated or new impact fee, a computer program shall be prepared that will allow continued evaluation of fee structure. The computer model (program) submitted must be compatible with existing computer hardware owned by Frederick County as determined by the County’s IIT office. Computer readable copies of all software shall be provided in industry standard CD ROM format as determined by the County.
2.4.7 TASK 7: Review timing and location for expenditure of funds.
• Review time limits for expenditure of funds, beyond which period the County must refund fees if not spent on facilities.
• Recommend mechanism for annual review of funds to ensure that they are spent in a proper and timely fashion.
• Review procedure for proper refund of fees (plus interest) when they are not expended within the established time limit.
• Provide a legal perspective on the relationship, if any, of the payment of impact fees to the County’s existing requirements for Adequate Public Facilities (APFO) testing. This shall consider the different levels of APFO regulations found in County municipalities.
2.4.8 TASK 8: Draft Ordinances and Legislation
• The Contractor shall prepare and submit the Draft Impact Fee Update Report and Ordinance to the County within forty-five (45) calendar days from date of notice to proceed. The Final Report shall be submitted within sixty (60) calendar days of the notice to proceed. Submission shall consist of ten (10) copies of the draft report and twenty-five (25) copies of the final report. Further, a PDF copy of the draft and the final report shall be provided.
• The consultant shall prepare and submit supporting documentation and revisions to the County’s existing Impact Fee legislation to implement the Impact Fee Study Update and include provisions for appeals as well as consideration for exemptions such as affordable housing, institutional uses, etc. to the County within forty-five (45) calendar days from date of notice to proceed. The Final Ordinance shall be submitted within sixty (60) calendar days of the notice to proceed. Submission shall consist of ten (10) copies of the draft report and twenty-five (25) copies of the final report. Further, a PDF copy of the draft and the final ordinance shall be provided.
2.4.9 TASK 9:
• Provide work plan timeline including on-site meetings with the Impact Fee Steering Committee. Required Meetings
• Attend a meeting with the Board of County Commissioners and other elected officials and citizens to present and explain Final Impact Fee Study Update and Ordinance revisions.
• Attend a public hearing meeting with the Board of County Commissioners and other elected officials and citizens to present and explain Final/Amended (if amended in Task 10) Impact Fee Study Update and Ordinance revisions.
2.4.10 TASK 10
• Amend final report to reflect any changes, concerns that may be addressed during the Task 9 meeting with the Board of County Commissioners and other elected officials and citizens within fifteen (15) calendar days. : Coordinate with County officials and Staff and prepare an amended final report.
3 PRE-PROPOSAL CONFERENCE:
3.1 A Pre-Proposal Conference will be held to discuss objectives and answer questions relating to this solicitation. Contractor’s attendance is not required but is strongly encouraged. Additionally, attendance may facilitate the Contractor’s understanding of the requirements.
3.2 It is recommended that Contractors read the solicitation prior to attending the conference and bring a copy to the conference.
3.3 In order to assure adequate seating at the pre-proposal conference, please confirm attendance by emailing the Buyer and referencing this solicitation and number.
3.4 If there is a need for language interpretation and/or other special accommodations, please advise the Buyer via email so that reasonable efforts may be made to provide special accommodations.
4 INQUIRIES AND ADDENDA:
4.1 The DP&C Buyer is the sole point of contact for this solicitation. Questions concerning this solicitation must be addressed in writing to the Buyer and delivered no later than 10 days in advance of the proposal’s due date.
4.2 Addenda to solicitations often occur prior to the proposal opening, sometimes within a few hours of the opening. It is the potential Contractor’s responsibility to visit the DP&C website at http://frederickcountymd.gov/index.aspx?NID=1116 to obtain Addenda.

president8444

Galen typical democrat, ask your fellow dem Obama for some of the billions he gives to foreign countries for us.DOPE[thumbdown] No help from Obama just for billions to foreigners.

Reader

So, you want a tax that will be "progressive" and affect everyone equally...BUT, you are already exempting low-income seniors? If you are exempting people, it is by definition NOT equal. Sounds like another attempt to take money from the hard-working middle class.

alovelyplace

Clagget is referring to the BoCC ordinance passed earlier this year lowering the property taxes for seniors who qualify. Its a very small percentile of seniors as I recall.

primrosefeather50

Please remember that about two-thirds of your county tax dollar already goes to public schools. To raise taxes for this reason is a travesty. Check the "pie" on the county website.

kjswartz

Here's a thought: are there more children in Frederick County than adults?
Here's a second one: who requires more county support - children or adults?

Do you believe we should TAX young parents for their children in our school system?

Even better - should we split the school districts into separate taxing districts?

Arcticdc5

Sure, you could create a new tax for that - as soon as you remove a tax that's already funded something else...

Oh what am I thinking, giving back to the taxpayers - that'll never happen in MD.

armillary

In our county the Ethics are lax
builders ride on commissioner's backs
and they're taught to do tricks
getting out of a fix
by declaring Blaine's new transfer tax.

Sourdoh1

Sure Galen let's steal a little more money from the folks. BTW, the last projects that need to be built right now in Frederick County are libraries and parks!

dbjanda1

Darth---The county will get their fair share of taxes back after Jan Gardner wins the executive spot...Doesn't make sense to send a republican to sit at the table in Annapolis and expect any results...A democrat will at least be able to drink the same tea and maybe the whole meal to get something back from there...Politically speaking that is....Me

Frednecklocal

Sorry but you are wrong. The Gardner Board FORWARD funded school construction projects paying the states share, and we didn't haven't and won't get any more if she is in the lead.

You'd certainly hope so, but she couldn't do it then, and she won't be able to do it now.

The simple facts are the state cannot afford the bill so I expect they will shift all costs to county governments

normalperson

Seems like he is pitching to shift the burden from the developers already. He sure was a good choice for the panel wasn't he? It's simple if you want to buy a new home here pay your fair share of what we as county residents have already paid for the current services. If we need more services then the new should fund it. He's not a developer though???????????????????

darththevader

Maybe he should examine getting some of our increased gas tax back to the county and the state reimburse us for their share of schools we've already built

kjswartz

These are two good points.
Do you have FACTS to support your claims?

1) Additional Gas Tax Revenue we are suppose to get?

2) School Construction funding that is still outstanding, and why our BoCC is not aggressively pursuing those funds as rigorously as their pet projects to dismantle Frederick County of its historical treasures and country charm?

darththevader

Yes, these are facts. Look at the budget for school reimbursement. The outgoing vs incoming gas tax has been an issue for decades. It goes into the general fund.

Not sure how you can question either.

kjswartz

Can you post the links you used as reference? I'm not getting the same impression.

kjswartz

We just finished several I-70 and I-270 bridge replacements along with interchanges and bypasses.

kjswartz

I went through the FCPS 2014 budget and did not find any mention of state construction funding being late, forward funded, or being serviced as "debt".

Can you post your reference for this?

As for the gas tax, I've seen a lot of projects funded that pretty much says we get more than our fair share, if you consider Frederick County is not densely populated.

experienced

Darthvader is the most evil fictional character in history per website on yahoo, any truth?[sad]

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