A proposal to repeal a 40-year-old Howard County mobile home tax failed to clear the County Council Tuesday night.
Co-sponsored by council members Calvin Ball and Jen Terrasa, both Democrats, the proposal would have provided relief for 1,100 county mobile home residents who pay an average of $45 a month in mobile home taxes.
More than 20 mobile home owners or renters supported the proposal at hearings this summer, saying they could use the savings to pay for expenses, such as tutoring and after-school activities for their children.
“I can’t believe we’re actually discussing whether mobile home residents are paying their fair share of taxes,” Terrasa said during Tuesday night’s meeting. “I can’t believe we’re having this conversation.”
Council chairwoman Mary Kay Sigaty and Councilman Jon Weinstein, both Democrats, and Councilman Greg Fox, a Republican, voted against the repeal and said the issue needed to be reviewedmore comprehensively.
“To assume everybody in a mobile home is in need of a tax credit when there are people in single family homes, townhomes and apartments, that also may need those same needs,” Fox said.
When asked if he and Terrasa would reintroduce the bill, Ball said “this council has demonstrated they are not going to support this kind of tax relief.”
“Honestly at this point we’re close to the election, that is a reminder of why we need change, to look out for hardworking people,” said Ball, who is running for county executive against Allan Kittleman, the Republican incumbent.
The County Council tabled the proposal in August before adjourning a summer recess and Tuesday’s vote “kills the bill,” Ball said. In Anne Arundel County, a similar tax was repealed last year.
Voters will select five new council members in November’s general election.