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County Executive Leopold Proposes Legislative Agenda for General Assembly Session

Bills target power company tax dodge, DHCD move and firearms theft

Annapolis, MD (January 13, 2012) - County Executive John R. Leopold today briefed the Anne Arundel County General Assembly delegation on his legislative priorities for the 2012 session, including recovering transfer tax revenue for power plants, blocking the proposed move of a State agency and making it easier for firearms owners to recover stolen weapons.

“Our top priority as always is to ask the legislature to do no harm and pass no additional cost burdens or mandates onto the County,” County Executive Leopold said. “Our agenda also addresses several issues that impact the quality of life for citizens, including jobs, government accountability and gun ownership. We look forward to working with the delegation to do what the citizens elected us to do.”

Individual bills address the following issues:

• Revenue from transfer of power plants - requiring Constellation to pay approximately $3 million in transfer and recordation taxes when it sells its Brandon Shores and Wagner power plants.

• Fiscal accountability in education - reforming the Maintenance of Effort law and requiring greater transparency in budget classifications.

• Block the effort to move DHCD - eliminating funding to move the Department of Housing and Community Development to Prince George’s County, which would negatively affect Anne Arundel County workers and cost the State millions in unnecessary lease payments.

• Protect legal gun owners - requiring reporting of purchases by second-hand firearms dealers, which will aid police in recovering stolen weapons and keep guns used illegally off the streets.

• Increase property tax benefits for seniors - expanding eligibility for senior citizens to qualify for deferral of their property tax bills by lowering the minimum age to 62.

• Protect victims of domestic violence and threats - expanding Protective Order and Peace Order requirements allowing more information to help law enforcement locate the subject of the order.

• Update court appearance fees - bringing Anne Arundel County in line with Circuit Courts in Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Harford County to collect a $20 appearance fee from counsel.

• Increase County investment income - allowing counties that maintain self-insurance funds to invest in similar portfolios to pension funds in order to generate increased investment income over time.

• Increase efficiency in transfer tax collection - allowing counties to collect transfer tax revenue directly.


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