Council Passes Legislation to Provide a Property Tax Credit for First Responders

by Patrick Herron

Per Montgomery County: The Montgomery County Council voted today to pass Bill 39-21, Taxation – Public Safety Officers – Public Safety Emergency Communications Specialists – Property Tax Credit, which would establish a property tax credit for certain Montgomery County first responders. Councilmember Tom Hucker and Council President Gabe Albornoz sponsored the legislation. Council Vice President Evan Glass and Councilmembers Nancy Navarro, Sidney Katz, Andrew Friedson, Will Jawando and Craig Rice are cosponsors.

This legislation establishes an annual property tax credit of up to $2,500 for full-time sworn police officers, career firefighters, emergency medical technicians and public safety emergency communications specialists employed by the County. The goal of the bill is to increase the number of County employees in public safety who reside in the County and help recruit and retain these employees.

“We have seen concerning trends in recruitment and retention, job vacancies and high attrition rates within Montgomery County’s public safety departments in recent years,” said Councilmember Hucker. “This legislation allows us to stay competitive in our region by using the tools in our toolbox to incentivize recruitment and retention. Bill 39-21 signals to our first responders that we appreciate their work and that they are valued members of our community. We all benefit when first responders and public safety officers live in the communities they serve, encouraging personal, positive community relations.”

“Our first responders answer the call of duty and provide life-saving and critical support to our residents every day,” Council President Albornoz said. “As such, we must do everything we can to support our first responders and make concerted efforts to recruit and retain dedicated public safety personnel who will keep our residents safe and maintain community trust. This bill makes it easier for public safety employees to live closer to where they work – a win-win for both the County employees and the residents they serve.”

The Maryland General Assembly previously authorized the County to enact a property tax credit for certain public safety officers and public safety emergency communications specialists. The County is authorized to establish additional eligibility requirements for the property tax credit. Other counties in Maryland, including Baltimore, Howard and Anne Arundel counties, also provide a property tax credit for public safety officers. Montgomery County currently has several property tax credits for eligible residents, including seniors and military retirees.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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