ANNAPOLIS — A Senate committee will mull over a local delegate’s bill to extend tax credits for police officers who live in high-crime neighborhoods to transit police.
Delegate Kathy Afzali (R-District 4) testified before the Senate Budget and Finance Committee on Wednesday in support of House Bill 1419.
The bill aims to fix what she believed was an oversight that omitted Maryland Transportation Authority law enforcement officers from benefiting from a law passed last in 2016 that extended a tax break of up to $5,000 to police living in areas where the crime rate exceeds the state average.
Transit police "were kind of caught between a technicality and that is that they live in the high-crime area, but they might be working in the neighborhood but in a tunnel or a bridge so they’re not technically in the neighborhood,” Afzali said.
A Maryland Fraternal Order of Police representative spoke briefly in support of the bill, which passed the House on May 17 unanimously.
Afzali said that the proposal’s predicted impact on the budget would be minor. The Department of Legislative Services projected the policy to decrease revenue by $60,000 each year as more people would qualify for the tax benefit.