Tax and Budget
The budget is the Council’s biggest responsibility – a vehicle for deciding who we are as a community and investing in our priorities. In order to fund those priorities, Montgomery County must continue to be fiscally healthy. That means preserving our AAA bond rating, raising sufficient revenue to fund government obligations and services, and not spending beyond our means.
As a tax lawyer, I know no one likes to pay taxes. But when they’re used right, tax revenues benefit everyone in our community.
We need significant revenue to ensure that our schools and teachers have the resources they need to educate our growing, diverse student population; invest in our transportation infrastructure to support economic development, protect the environment, and enhance our quality of life; and, especially now that Congress is cutting federal funds for the safety net, maintain the services our residents need.
A revitalized economy will create increased good job opportunities, more customers for local businesses, and more income taxes coming into county coffers. Then we won’t need to rely exclusively on property taxes – government services and funding for nonprofits won’t be at such great risk if the housing market faces a downturn, and residents and businesses won’t be faced with ever-increasing tax rates.
In addition, as a long-time advocate for women and families, especially low-income women, I recognize that the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is the most effective anti-poverty measure we have. It not only boosts incomes directly but also encourages work, which raises earnings to help families meet their basic needs and increases demand for businesses in the community.
This year, the Maryland General Assembly removed the age requirement for the tax credit as it applies to workers who don’t have children. Previously, a person had to be at least 25 or have children in order to receive any credit. Now our state and local EITC will help young, low-income, working Marylanders put aside savings, pay for career training, or pay for one-time costs like car repairs.
A growing body of research links income from the EITC to better infant health, improved school performance, higher college enrollment, and increased work and earnings in adulthood for children whose families receive the tax credits. I encourage the county to make sure that those who are eligible know about the refundable EITC available at federal, state, and local levels.