This year, the Maryland General Assembly has already heard two bills looking to reform the public notices that local governments are required to post in a newspaper of general circulation whenever the proposed tax rate is above the constant yield tax rate (HB 445/SB 543 and HB 508).
The constant yield tax rate was a concept passed decades ago that calculates a tax rate necessary to keep local revenues neutral, regardless of changes in the assessed value of properties within the jurisdiction. The corresponding public notice requires local governments to label anything above that figure a “real property tax increase,” even if the proposed rate remained the same or was lower than the prior year.
Constant yield has been a constant problem in jurisdiction throughout the State, confusing elected officials and residents’ who wrongly believe their rates are being raised. MML staff testified on both bills and conveyed that the process is harmful to the relationship between local governments and the people they serve.
The response in both chambers has been overwhelmingly positive, understanding that the constant yield process is not serving its purpose and needs to be reevaluated potentially beyond clarifying language to the public notice requirements.
If you have any questions about these bills, please contact Justin Fiore at email@example.com.