Saturday, November 20, 2010

Montgomery County's TRIM Amendment, 1978

Prince George's County is well-known for its TRIM amendment, a cap on property tax increases passed by referendum in 1978. Some blame TRIM for preventing the county from adequately funding schools and other basic services. MoCo also had a TRIM amendment on the ballot that same year, known as Question E. A giant coalition of unions, non-profits, civic groups and elected officials gathered to fight it. The anti-TRIM leadership included such notables as Council Members Norman Christeller, Neal Potter and Betty Scull; school board members Blair Ewing and Elizabeth Spencer; civic activist (and future Council Member) Don Praisner and MCEA's Hank Heller, who would later become a state Delegate. Question E lost on a 71,083-76,731 vote. There is no question that it would have changed MoCo history if it had passed.

Following are lit pieces from both sides.