FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — A public hearing was held in Frederick County, Maryland over the County Executive, Jan Gardner’s, proposal to increase agricultural preservation.

“We are losing a lot of lands here and farmland is in trouble,” said one Frederick county resident, Kathleen Rall.

Frederick farmers and realtors gathered inside the Frederick County Council room Tuesday to discuss a proposed bill to increase agricultural preservation with an increase of recordation tax.

The current recordation tax is $6. With what is proposed in the bill, it would increase to $7 per $500 of the sales price. The new recordation tax would generate around $6.8 million for agricultural preservation.

Sam Roop, who is the Chairman of the Frederick County Farm Bureau, says the county is a leader in agricultural preservation in the country.

“And has a long-standing goal to permanently preserve a minimum of 100,000 acres of agricultural land to ensure a legacy of agriculture for the future generation in Frederick County,” said Roop during the public hearing.

But, realtors in the county say this increase would impact first-time home buyers.

Amanda Addington, President of the Frederick County Association of Realtors, said the county’s average sale’s price is just over $300,000. And she said the new tax would increase the closing cost by over $300.

“I do have clients right now who are purchasing and it would really affect them. We really are trying to attract new buyers to Frederick County and we want to minimize the impact to them,” said Addington.

Addington said she and the relators association still want to find a way to support the agricultural preservation of Frederick County.

County officials said it would only be a one-time recordation fee.

The bill was sponsored by four county council members.