Friday, February 13, 2009

MoCo House Delegation Votes Down CARR Bill

By a 17-6 vote, the Montgomery County Delegation defeated the CARR bill, which would have given the Montgomery County government the ability to levy different property tax rates on residential and commercial property. Because the county delegation defeated it, the bill will not pass the General Assembly.

Supporters of the bill cite the historical shift of property taxes towards homeowners, the fact that the bill would only grant tax-raising authority and would not itself directly raise taxes, and the desperate condition of county revenues. Opponents question the wisdom of raising taxes on businesses that create jobs in the middle of a recession. The bill enjoyed support from many labor organizations but not the County Council, which took no position on it.

Voting in Favor:

Al Carr (D-18), the lead sponsor
Karen Montgomery (D-14), a co-sponsor
Jeff Waldstreicher (D-18), a co-sponsor
Saqib Ali (D-39)
Susan Lee (D-16)
Herman Taylor (D-14)

Voting Against:

Charles Barkley (D-39)
Kumar Barve (D-17)
Bill Bronrott (D-16)
Kathleen Dumais (D-15)
Brian Feldman (D-15)
Bill Frick (D-16)
Jim Gilchrist (D-17)
Henry Heller (D-19)
Sheila Hixson (D-20)
Tom Hucker (D-20)
Anne Kaiser (D-14)
Ben Kramer (D-19)
Heather Mizeur (D-20)
Roger Manno (D-19)
Kirill Reznik (D-39)
Craig Rice (D-15)
Luiz Simmons (D-17)

Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez (D-18), a co-sponsor, did not vote.

Many of the Delegates who voted against the bill have outstanding labor records, especially Hucker, Manno, Mizeur, Kaiser and Hixson. Manno was a former co-sponsor of the bill.