Council in Howard postpones bill to cap rise in assessments


The Howard County Council chose to take no action last night on three controversial legislative proposals, including a Republican member's bill to put a 5 percent cap on increases in property tax assessments, which was tabled until after next month's elections.

Also postponed in the hope that controversy could be avoided before the Nov. 6 voting was action on a county adequate facilities bill and a weed control measure.

The adequate facilities bill, which would direct growth into areas where roads and schools can handle it, is now scheduled to come up for a vote Oct. 29 -- a week before the elections. Council members said they wanted more time to study the legislation along with road design and school capacity manuals.

By a 4-1 vote, the council went along with Howard County Executive Elizabeth Bobo's request that action be delayed on a proposal by Councilman Charles C. Feaga, R-5th, to limit increases in property tax assessments to 5 percent a year. Tabling this bill means the issue will not be decided until after the elections.

The council also delayed action on a proposal by Councilwoman Angela Beltram, D-2nd, to allow the county government to cut lawns taller than 1 foot and bill the property owner.

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