The House Ways and Means Committee heard testimony yesterday on Sen. Larry E. Haines' bill to allow county finance offices to collect recordation taxes that are now collected by the state.
The bill, which passed the Senate March 13 by a 47-0 vote, has been tied to Sen. John A. Pica's bill to reducing closing costs.
"They're using my bill as the carrot," said Mr. Haines, a Westminster Republican, noting that the Maryland Association of Counties had supported his bill but not the one submitted by Mr. Pica, a Baltimore Democrat.
Under current law in all counties except Prince George's, Circuit Court clerks collect the local tax, charge a 2 1/2 -to-3-percent fee and turn the rest of the money collected over to the local jurisdictions. Prince George's County's director of finance has collected the tax there since 1968.
"This is a good plan that creates efficiency in government," Mr. Haines said. He said counties could save the money they pay the clerk's office in fees.
If passed, Mr. Haines' proposal would bring $262,358 into Carroll County coffers each year.
Delegation bills heard by House committee
Three Carroll County delegation bills were heard with little comment yesterday by the House Commerce and Government Matters Committee.
The bills would:
* Require the county to contribute to volunteer fire departments' pension funds known as Length of Service Award Programs. The Senate passed the bill Feb. 20 by a 46-0 vote.
* Amend legislation dealing with criminal background checks of county employees to include any prospective employee who would handle money.
The proposal would require such employees to submit fingerprints so the county could comply with FBI standards.
L The bill passed the Senate March 6 by a unanimous 47-0 vote.
* Officially raise the number of Carroll County assistant state's attorneys from one to two. The bill would simply bring legislation into line with current practice.
Senators passed the bill March 6, by a unanimous 47-0 vote.