Senator C Anthony Muse
Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D-Prince George’s) on Wednesday proposed a state law that would block an attempt by Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) to raise property taxes for the first time in more than three decades.
Senate Bill 939 would forbid the county’s “governing body” to set a property tax rate higher than limits enshrined in its charter — which means a 1978 voter-imposed cap of $0.96 per $100 of assessed value.
Baker announced this month that he had found a way to circumvent the tax cap, using a 2012 state law that permits full funding of any school spending plan approved by the County Council. He wants to raise property taxes by 15 percent to help fund a $1.9 billion education budget that, he says, would help bring county schools up to par with those in more affluent neighboring jurisdictions.
Muse introduced his bill at the end of Wednesday’s legislative session in the State House. Most bills were submitted weeks ago, at the start of the legislature’s annual 90-day session.
“It would not allow property taxes to be raised indefinitely and in an unlimited way,” Muse said in an interview. “This bill will give citizens a sense of ease that taxes will not go up without restraint.”