Dear Howard County Resident and Taxpayer:
We are almost there. The County Council will hear testimony on CB42. The bill raises school surcharge fees to $6.80 per square foot.
This is a step in the right direction. We need to continue to urge the County Council to raise the fee to $8.0 per square foot.
The developers will be at the public hearing. They are ready and organized, because this legislation threatens their profit subsidy. Protect your taxpayer dollars by showing up to the public hearing.
The County Council will hear testimony on Wednesday, September 18, 2019. BUT YOU MUST SIGN UP BY MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2019.
You may use the following text at the public hearing or your email:
Sign up to testify here: https://apps.howardcountymd.gov/otestimony/
Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Members of the County Council:
Developers find it profitable to build homes in Howard County because of its school system. For 15 years, developers have not only profited from building homes, they have also profited from low school surcharge fees.
School surcharge fees are used to partially cover the cost of new school construction. In Howard County this fee was set at an arbitrary value of $1.00 per square foot and pegged to inflation.
The fee in 2019 is $1.32 per square foot- a mere 1.7% increase since 2004. According to the 2018 Department of Legislative Services Report the fee in Montgomery County is on average $30,575 per home, which represents a 10% increase since 2004.
In the last 15 years, the County has approved a minimum of 24,000 new homes. At this rate, the county has forgone nearly $530 million in school surcharge fees. The three-year average school surcharge fee in 2017 was less than $5,500, while the cost of building new schools could be a minimum of $60,000 per new student.
While the proposed fee of $6.80 is a step in the right direction, I think the fee can be higher. I urge you to raise the fee to $8 per square foot. I also urge you to provide no exemptions to any developer. No grandfathering of projects.
Raise the fee now so our school system can get the funding it needs to build schools and students can find the resources they need.
Thank you to Councilpersons Christiana Mercer-Rigby and Deb Jung for introducing this legislation.