The Montgomery County delegation to the Maryland General Assembly is trying again this year to get property tax deferrals for some of its constituents with a bill that has been rejected in the past by state legislators, who want to keep the tax-break program uniform and statewide.
Local bill 227, requested by the Montgomery County Council, would allow deferral of property taxes for persons 75 and older with household incomes not exceeding $12,900 per year.
The county has tried during the past couple of years to get legislation allowing it to earmark aid, but the state wants to maintain a uniform program and discourages piecemeal legislation for localities.
A state program was begun in 1975 to set maximum property taxes for elderly people. It was later expanded to include all homeowners within certain income ranges, and elderly renters.
The Montgomery tax-deferral bill was given favorable reports by the county's delegates and senators, and will be taken up by the House Ways and Means Committee, where similar versions of the bill have died in recent years.
The Prince George's delegation has approved a bill that would allow the county to jail spouses who fail to make alimony payments; the measure will be introduced in the legislature during this session.
The bill, which was introduced last year but not enacted, would allow a county Master of Domestic Relations to detain a defendant for "willful failure to pay alimony," subject to review by a judge if the defendant requests it.
Another local bill passed by the Prince George's delegation will allow county alcoholic beverage establishments to remain open when Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve fall on a Sunday. Such establishments normally must close on Sunday.