Montgomery County lawmakers continue debate over two controversial rent cap bills
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - A marathon day of hearings took place Tuesday in Montgomery County as lawmakers debated two controversial plans to cap how much landlords can raise the rent.
The competing bills have sparked a rift on the Montgomery County Council. But while council members are fighting over how to limit landlords' ability to raise rent, they themselves are poised to raise property taxes by a whopping 10% under a separate budget proposal now under consideration.
One of the rent cap bills is called the "Home Act" which would cap rent increases at 3% over inflation. The other bill is called "The Anti-Gouging Bill" which would cap hikes at 8% over inflation.
On Tuesday, the council heard public opinion on the rent control proposals. The majority of people appeared to have taken the position that rent control is needed with some saying they can't afford repeated rent increases.
However, the council is divided on how far to go. Building owners and realtors have warned that if rent control goes ahead, it could lead to less rental housing in Montgomery County and, combined with a possible property tax hike, could send developers elsewhere.
The main hearing on these bills won't happen until this summer.