Message from the President - June 8, 2015

Council Passes Budget with
$.04 Property Tax Increase. . . Not $.15!

  Desiree Callender photo
Desiree Callender
2015 PGCAR President

On Thursday May 28th, the Prince George's County Council passed the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget at $2.95 billion, considerably less than the $3.63 billion asked for by County Executive Rushern Baker. The Council returned the budget with a $.04 real property tax increase as opposed to Baker's proposed $.15 tax increase (per $100 in assessed value).

From the on-set of the budget discussion PGCAR was unabashedly vocal in our opposition to the property tax increase, sharing our concerns directly with County Executive Baker at the March Board of Directors meeting. In the weeks leading up to the vote, PGCAR led an extensive advocacy campaign against the property tax proposal that included face-to-face lobbying with elected officials, print media, an email campaign and telephone calls. Though we were unable to defeat the tax increase entirely we were successful in lessoning the impact on homeowners to 4%, instead of the massive 15% originally proposed.
  • Thank you to all PGCAR members who responded to our numerous "calls-to-action," sending well over 1,700 opposition email messages to the County Council. Your messages were definitely heard.
  • Also heard, were the opposition voices from another 1,200 concerned citizen voters who phoned their Council representatives through "robo call pass-throughs" hosted by the National Association of REALTORS®. Thank you NAR!
  • Thank you to the Maryland Association of REALTORS® for their generous contribution that allowed us to run two full-page advocacy advertisements in the Prince George's Gazette.
  • And let us not forget the countless hours PGCAR representatives spent meeting with public officials to plead for a more reasoned approach.
Thank you all! Fortunately, these efforts were not in vain as we were successful in bringing this issue to the attention of the membership and the general public and successful in greatly lessening the impact of the property tax increase.

Finally, I wish to thank our County Council Chair, Mel Franklin and the full Council for listening to our concerns and recognizing that "housing" simply cannot pay for everything.

The new property tax increase will take effect on July 1, 2015.

In brief, the FY 2016 Budget package includes:
  • $.04 increase in the real property tax rate (from $.96 to $1.00 per $100 in assessed value)
  • $.10 increase in the personal property tax rate
  • 1% increase in the telecommunications tax rate
  • 2% increase in hotel/motel tax rate
  • $.015 increase in the MNCPPC tax rate (Vetoed by the County Executive on June 8, 2015; veto overridden by Council)
  • Various permit and license fee increases, including a $40 increase in the cost of a single family rental license (from $75 bi-annually to $115)
Thank you again, for voicing your concerns. It made a difference!

Desiree Callender,

PGCAR is the voice for REALTORS® in Prince George's County, Maryland. Representing more than 2,600 real estate professionals in the national capital area, PGCAR provides numerous services vital to its members' daily business needs. It also works with lawmakers to ensure public policy that encourages homeownership, promotes an environment conducive to business growth, and works to improve the communities in which its members live and work.