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The Aegis
Harford County

Harford County Council introduces bills to expand tax credit eligibility, include new option for Sheriff’s Office pension plan

The Harford County Council introduced three bills at its legislative session Tuesday night.

The first bill would expand the eligibility requirements for elderly adults and veterans seeking property tax credits to include “active duty, retired, or honorably discharged members of the military with disabilities and those individual’s surviving spouse,” according to the bill’s text. The bill would define the term “disability” as “a medically determined physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual and is reasonably certain to continue for the life of the individual.”

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The second bill would modify the Harford County Sheriff’s Office Pension Plan to include a deferred retirement option. This program would “delay receipt of retirement benefits while the participant continues to be employed by the Sheriff’s Office of the County as a covered individual under the Plan,” according to the bill.

The third bill would amend the county’s definition of daycare center in the county zoning code to clarify that kindergarten classes approved by the Maryland State Department of Education may possibly be included.

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A resolution was introduced that would waive a required five-year waiting period to allow a 9-acre property annexed by Aberdeen to be rezoned from a county Agricultural District to an Aberdeen Integrated Business District.

The land, known as the Land of Presbyterian Home of Maryland, Incorporated, was annexed May 31. According to an annexation document from 2019, the new zoning classification would “provide residential, recreational, educational, retail, entertainment, and other commercial uses in an aesthetically pleasing and functionally compatible manner, to complement existing residential areas, to blend development with the environmental characteristics of the land, and to facilitate the efficient delivery and use of public services.”

A public hearing for the bills and resolution is scheduled for Oct. 11.

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The council also voted to uphold a ruling from the county’s zoning hearing examiner, Robert Kahoe Jr., in which he denied a variance requested by Edgewood resident John Whitney Allen to permit storage of a commercial vehicle and equipment in a residential area.

Toward the end of the meeting, council Vice President Robert Wagner attempted to introduce a motion to amend the council’s rules of procedures to remove the requirement that people speaking during the public comment of the meeting state their home address. Council member Tony Giangiordano seconded the motion.

Charles Kearney Jr., the council attorney, reminded the council that the rules of procedure state they can amend the rules with a majority vote of the council, but the vote has to be at least seven days after the amendment is first introduced, not on the same day. Wagner’s proposal was not on the council’s agenda.

Council President Patrick Vincenti advised the council to forgo discussion of the motion and allow Kearney to write up the motion to discuss at a future meeting.

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“So, then, you want me to withdraw my motion?” Wagner asked Vincenti.

The council president nodded, and Wagner withdrew the motion.


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