MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich isn’t backing down on his 10-cent property tax increase proposal.
According to his FY 2024 plan, it’s “in response to the Board of Education’s largest ever requested budget.”
“We’re no longer the place where educators want to come, and that hurts our children,” said Elrich. “Over the last year, over 1,100 teachers left MCPS and hundreds of positions remain unfulfilled. Teachers are leaving the classroom for better pay.”
“The teachers are burning out, as they work to cover vacant positions,” he said.
But not everyone is on board with the idea.
“We’re kind of coming up with a tax now, that’s going to make it more difficult for more potential homeowners to purchase here,” said Avi Adler, President of the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors.
Adler is worried about people who are already facing financial difficulties.
“Seniors are going to be especially hit by this,” he said. “The cost of living in Montgomery County is much higher, so when you’re comparing the property tax rates, it’s not really an apples-to-apples comparison for the other counties.”
DC News Now asked Elrich if there is a compromise.
“If you assumed that no increase was approved at all, then you would either have to not fund the school budget. If you don’t fund $220 million of the school budget, then there’s no tax increase, that means that teacher pays in the county would continue to lag even further behind everybody else,” he said. “Which would leave you to try to squeeze $220 million out of things like libraries, recreation, and maybe transportation. That would be a problematic thing to do.”
The county council will open the floor for public input in April.