Local bills ranging from tax aid for the elderly to lifting the tax-exempt status on private clubs that discriminate continue to wend their way through the Montgomery County delegation this week. The bills, if approved by the Senate and House delegations, will proceed to the floor of the House of Delegates.
Among the bills still being considered by the delegation or already having received full delegation approval are those affecting:
* Country clubs and nonprofit private clubs. The county's senators approved two bills that would affect private clubs. The country club bill, sponsored by Sen. Victor Crawford (D-Silver Spring), would require country clubs that want to retain preferential property tax treatment on land that has no buildings to impose a building moratorium on the property for at least 25 years. Under the current preferential tax treatment, country clubs pay property taxes on 11 percent of market value, while private property owners pay taxes on approximately 45 percent of the market value. Under Crawford's proposal the clubs would begin to pay taxes on 25 percent of market value.
The nonprofit private club bill, which would affect clubs like the Veterans of Foreign Wars, would revoke the tax-exempt status of any group that discriminated against applicants for membership.
Both bills have been sent to the House delegation for consideration.
* Tax payment deferral for the elderly. This bill, which has been approved by the Senate delegation and now awaits House delegation action, would allow homeowners over 75 who have a combined income of less than $15,000 to defer the payment of property taxes every year until they sell the house. They become ineligible, however, if they stop living in the house for more than a 12-month period.
* Bonds for detention center. Both the county's Senate and House delegations have approved a bill requesting the state to float $3 million in bonds to expand the county's detention center to include more beds for female inmates.
* Review of school board closings. A joint bill sponsored by the Prince George's and Montgomery delegations, this legislation would require that before any school closing is approved in a municipality such as Rockville or College Park, the local school board must request comments from the city or town governing body. The comments would not be legally binding, but would serve as local guidance. The bill, which was approved by the Prince George's legislators, now goes to the Montgomery County delegation for a vote.
* Rockville Facility and Inter-County Connector. Three bills, one sponsored jointly by Prince George's and Montgomery and the other two by Montgomery legislators, would prohibit the state Department of Transportation from spending any more money to study the stretch of highway known as the Rockville Facility and Inter-County Connector. The two sections have been the subject of nearly 30 years of planning.
The two Montgomery County bills, dealing only with the Rockville Facility and already approved by the Senate delegation, now go to the House delegation for a vote..