County Council approves Councilwoman Bevins’ bill to repeal mobile home tax

Baltimore CountyThe Baltimore County Council has voted to approve Councilwoman Cathy Bevins’ bill to repeal the county’s $20-per-month tax on mobile homes.

The mobile home tax was levied in the 1950s as a way to ensure that owners paid their fair share in taxes to Baltimore County as they were not paying any property tax because such homes were mobile and the owners would come and go.

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In 2018, that is not necessarily the case as mobile homes are no longer “mobile,” but are established communities with active associations.

“I am pleased that the bill passed,” said Councilwoman Bevins. “This was an outdated and unfair tax for mobile homeowners to have to pay. I want to thank all of the mobile home residents who worked so hard on this issue and who contacted my office advocating for this tax to be repealed.”

The final vote on Bill 76-18 Tax on Mobile Homes – Repeal was 5-2. The bill will become effective on October 29th.


Council to Consider Councilwoman Bevins’ bill to repeal mobile home tax

Baltimore CountyUPDATE: This bill has been approved – click here for details.

Original story below…

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The Baltimore County Council will consider Councilwoman Cathy Bevins’ (D-6) bill to repeal the tax on mobile homes.

Baltimore County currently taxes mobile homes 7 percent of gross rent with a cap of $20 dollars a month. The $20 dollar tax comes out to an extra $240 dollars a year mobile home residents are paying in taxes.

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The mobile home tax was levied in the 1950’s as a way to ensure that owners paid their fair share in taxes to Baltimore County as they were not paying any property tax because such homes were mobile and the owners would come and go. In 2018 that is no longer the case as mobile homes are no longer “mobile” but are established communities with active associations.

“I do not think it is fair that residents of mobile homes have to pay a $20 dollar tax, tenants who rent apartments do not have to pay a $20 dollar tax.” Said Councilwoman Cathy Bevins.

“This is an outdated tax and it is long past the time it should be repealed. The land where the mobile homes are situated are already taxed. By imposing a separate tax on the mobile home pad sites themselves the county is double dipping.”


Don Mohler selected as new interim Baltimore County Executive

Don MohlerThe Baltimore County Council has elected Donald I. Mohler III as the 13th Baltimore County Executive to fill the remaining term of Kevin Kamenetz, who died earlier this month.

Mohler had served as Chief of Staff to Kamenetz since 2010.

He previously served as County Executive Jim Smith’s Acting Chief of Staff and Communications Director.

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“I am truly humbled,” said Mohler. “This wasn’t supposed to happen. My friend and County Executive Kevin Kamenetz should be finishing his second term in office. Baltimore County has been through a lot over the last few weeks, including the tragic death of a police officer and the sudden loss of our County Executive. This is a time for everyone — County employees and communities — to come together and heal. Baltimore County is strong. As Jill Kamenetz so bravely said at her husband’s funeral service, ‘we will be okay.’ County government will continue to provide the services and public safety that our residents deserve. I am committed to making that happen.”


Councilman Marks introduces legislation to improve transparency over settlements

Baltimore CountyBaltimore County Councilman David Marks has submitted legislation that will improve reporting and approval requirements when Baltimore County enters into legal settlements.

Bill 31-18 requires the County Attorney to provide the County Council with a list and description of significant litigation, which involves cases where the demand is more than $100,000, by December 31st of each year. The legislation also requires the County Attorney to notify the County Council when the County is about to enter into a settlement exceeding $100,000 or a consent decree or conciliation agreement that, as part of the settlement, requires legislative action by the County Council. The Council would have seven days to determine whether to bring the matter for a vote.

“In recent years, the Kamenetz administration has entered into agreements with outside parties with little or no input from the County Council,” Councilman Marks said. “The affordable housing agreement, for example, commits the legislative branch and future members of the County Council to certain votes. I believe agreements of a certain magnitude should be clearly communicated to the Council and the public at large.”

Marks, Henn applaud added school safety funding

baltimore-county-public-schools-bcpsBaltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz will propose 106 additional positions for school counselors, social workers, psychologists, and Police School Resource Officers in his annual budget to be presented to the Baltimore County Council on Thursday, April 12.

Councilman David Marks and Baltimore County Public Schools Board Member Julie Henn have applauded the decision.

Also included in the budget are additional health assistants and bus attendants. This investment is geared to addressing the ever growing mental health needs of Baltimore County school students. The personnel additions further the significant $13.6 million of investments in school safety and security accelerated by Kamenetz after a 2012 shooting at a Baltimore County high school.

“In Baltimore County, our budgets continually reflect a commitment to ensure that our schools are healthy learning environments,” said Kamenetz. “Since 2011, we invested $13.6 million to reinforce all school doors and windows, adding security cameras and controlled entry. With this budget, we add necessary personnel to ensure that we are reaching the mental health needs of every child to avoid incidents of disruption.”

The County Executive’s budget that he will present to the County Council next week includes an increase of more than $8 million to fund an additional 109.5 positions in the area of student support personnel and to expand Baltimore County’s Police School Resource Officer program.

Kamenetz is proposing two School Climate Support Teams to address students with complex needs and to assist schools with conflict management strategies — one for elementary schools and one for high schools.

If adopted, the budget would add more than 22 social workers, 23 counselors, and 18 school psychologists to the Baltimore County Public Schools, while also funding additional pupil personnel workers, health assistants, and bus attendants.

“I am very appreciative that County Executive Kamenetz recognizes the important role that student service personnel play in creating a positive school climate, and that his budget proposal will fund these initiatives,” stated Interim School Superintendent Verletta White. “The best way to prevent disciplinary and disruptive issues in our schools is to recognize and address the important role that mental health plays in student safety.”

“I believe in being proactive,” said Council Chair Julian Jones. “Doing everything that we can to ensure our school system has the resources it needs to help our children before they are in trouble is the appropriate thing to do.”

“I was on the campus of Perry Hall High School in the aftermath of the shooting in 2012, and I have pushed for stronger public safety measures since that horrible day,” said Councilman Marks. “I commend the announcement that next year’s budget will increase funding for better school security. We need more School Resource Officers at large campuses like Perry Hall Middle and High Schools, broader technology, stronger discipline, and better communication with parents.”

​”As a BCPS parent, I think about the safety of our schools each and every day,” said BCPS Board Member Henn. “One of my top priorities as a Board member has been to work with BCPS staff and the community to identify areas in which we can improve the safety of our schools and then to secure the resources to make it happen. I’m happy to learn of increased funding for more school security and look forward to learning more about the measures planned.”

The County Executive’s budget proposal will also include 19 additional Police School Resource Officers, increasing the County’s total from 65 officers to 84. With this proposal, one officer will be added to each of the County’s 10 police precincts and be assigned to work with the elementary schools in that area on school security issues. The additional 9 officers will be added to the current school allocation based upon review by Police Chief Sheridan and Superintendent White.

“School Resource Officers have proven to be a critical component in not only responding to incidents, but more importantly, to preventing incidents before they occur,” said Baltimore County Police Chief Terrence B. Sheridan. “If approved by the County Council, we will have these additional officers in place before the beginning of school in the fall.”

Since 2011, Baltimore County officials have invested $13.6 million to safeguard schools by installing security cameras and card reader door locks in all Baltimore County elementary schools and enhancing these security measures in middle and high schools. This funding initiative increased the number of school cameras by 400%, from 1,150 to 4,600; newly installing them in all elementary schools, and enhancing existing cameras and adding them as needed in middle and high schools. In the same timeframe, the number of card reader door locks in schools more than doubled from 261 to 583, providing an important measure of security for routine schooldays as well as in emergencies.

The County is now completing the installation of video dashboard technology that provides public safety officials with instant access to video feeds from security cameras at schools, libraries and other public facilities; as well giving them direct access to live traffic cameras on state highways. GPS systems are now installed in County school buses through a partnership between County government and Baltimore County Public Schools.

“The events of the past few months have moved us all. No community, no school, and no family is immune from the fear that takes place after every school shooting incident,” concluded Kamenetz. “As government officials we have no more important responsibility than to make sure we do all that we can to protect our students and our teachers each and every day.”