Republicans File Lawsuit Against County Property Tax Increase
Two members of the Republican Central Committee for Prince George's County recently filed a lawsuit in an effort to reduce taxes for Prince George’s County residents.
The lawsuit, which suggests the county violated the law in 2016 by bypassing the infamous Tax Reform Initiative by Marylanders(TRIM). The law mandates any property tax increase must win a public ballot and was allowed to move forward after a ruling in Prince George’s County Circuit Court on Sept. 29. Another hearing on the matter is scheduled for Dec. 13.
Even though TRIM capped taxes, elected officials still raised property taxes. That was good news for plaintiffs Fred Price, Jr. and James K. Wass who believe the measure should have been decided through a referendum from voters.
Price and Wass are members of the Republican Party Central Committee, but both believe that the issue is bi-partisan and impacts the entire community. They have asked the court for injunctive relief and refunds for the property taxes they believe they have been charged illegally. Under TRIM, which was passed in 1978, a tax cap was imposed, but that changed two years ago when the county council imposed a four-cent property tax increase after County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III had attempted to raise taxes by 15 percent, which he said he needed to improve the county educational system.
The lawsuit argues that elected officials violated the county charter when the measure was implemented without voter approval and the tax hike is illegal Wass and Price say they want the issue to be decided on the 2018 ballot.