Council Passes Creative Solution to Help Solve our Construction Funding Shortfall
By Michael A. Durso and Larry A. Bowers
In a unanimous vote today, the County Council approved an additional funding source for our Capital Improvements Program that will allow Montgomery County Public Schools to move forward with plans to create the classroom space needed for our increased enrollment. It also will allow us to revitalize our older school buildings and invest in maintaining and repairing our aging infrastructure. If the Council had not taken this action, numerous school construction projects would have been delayed over the next few years.
The County Council approved an increase in the school increment portion of the recordation tax—the tax paid when a house or building is sold, or if the mortgage on a house or building is refinanced. The bill passed by the Council increases this portion from $1.25/$500 to $2.00/$500 of the home sale price. This $.75 cent increase will generate an estimated $125 million over the next six years. By taking this bold step, the County Council has helped prevent delays to key school projects.
This solution, proposed by Council President Nancy Floreen, brings us much closer to the Board of Education’s requested $1.7 billion for capital projects over the next six years and enables us to address many of our critically needed projects to serve our growing population.
My Board of Education colleagues and I greatly appreciate the efforts of Council President Floreen and the full County Council in finding a lasting solution to this longstanding problem. Increasing the recordation tax will help to ensure that our students have the learning spaces they deserve.