Board of County Commissioners Meeting" Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Board of County Commissioners Meeting
Tuesday, May 29, 2007

THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD A JOINT MEETING WITH THE BOARD OF EDUCATION AT THE WASHINGTON COUNTY TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL TO DISCUSS FUNDING FOR THE BARBARA INGRAM SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS
County Financial Advisor Lester Guthorn briefed the bodies on financing options available. Following discussion of a number of issues relating to financing the school and public fund-raising, the Commissioners reached consensus to support the Board of Education moving forward with a Lease-Finance funding plan in the most cost-effective manner.

EXCISE TAX TASK FORCE CANDIDATES
The Board of County Commissioners held a brief meeting to discuss potential appointments to a state-mandated Excise Tax Task Force. House Bill 1355, which allowed limitations on the excise tax cap to be lifted for FY 2008 and allowed excise taxes to be based on square footage of a proposed dwelling, on a graduated scale, also required that the Commissioners appoint a task force to make recommendations on the building tax rate and structure for residential development. Such a body would provide its recommendations to the Commissioners by September 30th. The Board discussed makeup of the Task Force, citing need for representation from a broad range of stakeholders. A 13-member committee would include a County staff person as Chair, and 1 representative from each of 10 categories of interest, including the Economic Development Community, Builders, Realtors, Non-Profit Builders, Homeowners, the Maryland Municipal League local chapter, Lenders, Urban Redevelopers, a Land Attorney, and a member of the Local; Delegation to the General Assembly. In addition there would be 2 At-Large members from the citizenry. Staff support would come from the County departments of Budget and Finance, Permits and Inspections, Planning and the County Attorney, as well as from the Board of Education. Consensus was reached to move ahead with advertisement of the need for members, and a deadline for application. The sign-up information will be posted to the County website, with the ability to apply on-line. Approval of the Task Force membership could come as quickly as June 12th, and interested citizens are urged to watch for further announcements of application availability.