County Council to consider tax break for religious rentals COUNTYWIDE

Religious institutions would pay landlords less rent under a bipartisan bill coming before the council tonight.

The bill, jointly sponsored by Shane Pendergrass, D-1st, and Darrel Drown, R-2nd, would offer tax credits to property owners who lease a portion of their property to religious institutions.


The measure requires landlords to use those credits to reduce the rent they charge those religious institutions.

The bill is one of 21 pieces of new legislation coming before the council this month.


The council also will receive legislation aimed at keeping a ceiling of 5 percent a year on property tax assessment increases.

The council has voted a 5 percent cap on assessments the past two years. It had the effect this year of granting an extra $2 million in credits to property owners.

State law requires counties to set an assessment cap at 10 percent or less. If there were no cap at all, growing assessments would have boosted revenue by $3 million this year with no increase in the property tax rate. About 41,800 of the roughly 49,300 households in the county benefited from the 5 percent cap.

Two resolutions affecting Trotter Road will be introduced tonight. One would link Trotter Road with River Hill Road by way of Sumer Sunrise Drive. The other would close a portion of Trotter Road near proposed Route 32.

Legislation confirming the appointment of four residents to various boards will also be introduced tonight. The council will be asked to confirm the appointment of Natalie K. Lobe to the Community Action Council board of directors, Louis Pope to the Consumer Affairs Advisory Board, Shamim Sinnar to the Human Rights Commission, and Donna Wells to the Mental Health Advisory Board.

The council will conduct a Nov. 16 public hearing on legislation introduced tonight. It will vote on the legislation Dec. 7.

After the introduction of legislation tonight, the council will vote on 18 bills and resolutions it considered in October.

One item expected to receive a favorable vote tonight is a resolution backing construction of 104 rental units in Owen Brown for senior citizens. The Owen Brown II limited partnership needs the council's endorsement to qualify for a loan of $800,000 from the Community Development Council and for $2 million in tax-exempt state bonds.