Top Montgomery County lawmaker speaks out on controversial property tax hike

A controversial property tax hike in Montgomery County is getting the yellow light from a top lawmaker.

When Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich announced his 10-cent on the dollar property tax hike last week aimed at increasing school funding. The revenue would all go toward fully funding Montgomery County’s Public Schools.

Elrich says the 10-cent increase raises a little over $220 million. 


Montgomery Co. Executive recommends '10 cent' property tax increase

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich unveiled his FY 2024 $6.8 billion Operating Budget on Wednesday, recommending a "10-cent increase" to the county’s property tax rate. The revenue would all go toward fully funding Montgomery County’s Public Schools.

Montgomery County Council President Evan Glass is speaking out, suggesting the council could possibly pump the brakes on the tax hike.

In a briefing on Monday, Glass insisted that the council could "rip up the county executive's entire budget and rewrite it to the last penny" if they decide to do so.

"We have 11 members of this council, six of whom are new are brand new. This council is not a rubber stamp for anybody or anything," said Glass. "We’ve got 11 council members who will each do their own due diligence."

Elrich appeared on FOX 5's On The Hill on Sunday to defend the property tax increase, but in the process revealed a tax hike was not something he originally planned on either.

"It didn’t sit that well with me. This is not something that we were hoping we were going to have to do. Most of this money, all of this money is being passed on provisional law, needs six votes and the money can only go to schools," says Elrich.

FOX 5 has spoken with Montgomery County residents who are upset over the property tax hike, citing ongoing post-pandemic inflation, previous property tax increases and the possibility of a recession this year.

Laurie Halverson, who describes herself as a "conservative voice in blue Montgomery County," says she's concerned the tax hike is a done deal.

"I think that if the public puts pressure on our county council members, we’ve got a lot of newly elected county council members who want to be re-elected, and if they hear from us, then they may vote against this giant increase in property taxes," says Halverson.

In response to questions from FOX 5 on Monday, Glass insisted this process is only just beginning, and he expects the public will sound off when public hearings begin in Rockville on April 11.