Howard County lawmakers poised to repeal tax on mobile homes

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball has, for a second time, filed legislation to repeal a tax on mobile homes. And it appears he will be victorious in his pursuit as a majority of the County Council has co-sponsored the bill.

The bill would strike from law a 40-year-old tax on 1,100 mobile home residents who pay an average of $45 a month, according to a press release. This tax generates less than $700,000 in revenue for the county annually.

Ball introduced the exemption as a councilman last year alongside Councilwoman Jen Terrasa, a Democrat who represented Savage and North Laurel. The bill was ultimately tabled because of a lack of support from other lawmakers.

This year’s bill is co-sponsored by the four Democrats on the County Council — Liz Walsh, Opel Jones, Christiana Mercer Rigby and Deb Jung.

Republican Councilman David Yungmann declined to take a stance on the issue, pending the upcoming council hearing on Tuesday night in the George Howard Building.

“For a county with one of the highest median incomes in the nation, it is patently unfair that we are collecting this burdensome tax from some of our most vulnerable residents, including many seniors who live on fixed incomes,” Ball said in a statement. “This is money they could better spend to put food on the family table, clothes on their back, and put toward costly medical expenses.”

A report released this month warned the county of a potentially dubious financial future as its projected revenue growth “lags far behind requested expenditure growth.”

The money generated from the mobile home tax accounted for less than 1 percent of last year’s revenues.

Howard County on Wednesday also announced it would discontinue the police department’s aviation program. The move is expected to save the county nearly $1.8 million over four years.

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