Homeowners across Anne Arundel County have been shocked to receive their 2023 property tax bills. It has been the talk of the town. Very few people realized that the Fiscal Year 2024 Anne Arundel County budget included a rise in our property taxes by 5 percent.
Our property tax rates since 1992 have been regulated by a voter-imposed cap, with a recent exception for education funding. The FY24 budget also increases utility costs: there has been an 8.8% increase in water and sewer usage rates, and the fee for residential trash collection per household has gone up 11.4 percent. These unexpected increases have caused many families to be concerned, and many need to re-evaluate their monthly budget and adjust accordingly.
It’s important to realize that the FY24 budget also increases the transfer tax in some of our real estate transactions. The transfer tax rate will now increase from 1% to 1.5% for transactions over $1 million. Now, this may not seem like a big deal — family homes in our area may have been purchased for much lower than this, but by the time it comes to sell, many homes will surpass this.
The local government plans to use our taxpayer dollars to pay for eviction prevention programs, to subsidize affordable new construction, and as financial assistance to some select homebuyers. Finally, it’s important to be aware that single filers with taxable income exceeding $400,000 and joint filers surpassing $480,000 will see an uptick in their income tax to 3.2 percent.
While we all have different opinions about taxes and the role of government in our lives, I think it’s important to be aware of these increases so that we can, first and foremost, plan and care for our families. Understand that these tax increases have occurred directly due to the voting choices of our community and our state — elections have consequences. For my part, I have voted against every tax increase that has come before the Maryland General Assembly, including one introduced by another Republican, because I believe the government already has plenty of hard-earned money from its citizens. What I would like to see is the government be a better steward of our money, with more oversight and transparency.
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