The County Commissioners passed an ordinance Thursday placing a 10 percent cap on annual increases in property tax assessments.

Counties are required to adopt a maximum 10 percent cap on assessments before fiscal 1992 begins July 1 under a tax relief law passed during the last General Assembly session. Counties were authorized to pass tax caps below 10 percent -- Baltimore County set its cap at 4 percent -- but not above that level.

Previously, property could be taxed at no more than a 15 percent increase over the previous year, even if the value had been appraised at a higher level.

The state law was passed in response to homeowners' concerns that property tax bills were rising too rapidly.

Property taxes are the primary source of income for Carroll government.

For every 1 percent below the 10 percent maximum cap, county government would lose $145,000 in tax revenue in the next budget year, said Steven D.

Powell, Department of Management and Budget director. A 1 percent reduction -- or a 9 percent cap -- would save the owner of a $100,000 home $23.50 on the tax bill, he determined.

Considering the county is facing a projected $2.5 million deficit this year, Powell said it would not be wise to restrict property tax revenue growth to less than 10 percent.

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