The following were among actions taken at Tuesday's meeting of the Montgomery County Council. For more information, call 217-7900.
TAX LIMIT REFERNDUM -- The council scheduled a July 31 vote on whether to place on the Nov. 6 ballot a proposed amendment to the county charter that would limit annual property tax increases to the rate of inflation.
Four council members have expressed support for putting the proposal on the ballot -- a move that apparently ends the call by a taxpayers' group for a more drastic tax relief measure. The group, Fairness in Taxation, has been collecting signatures to place on the ballot a tax initiative that would limit property tax increases to no more than 75 percent of the rate of inflation. Robert Denny, chairman of the group, said this week that his organization has collected 12,000 signatures, 2,000 more than needed to place a charter amendment on the ballot.
At a press conference Monday, council President William E. Hanna Jr. and members Bruce Adams, Isiah Leggett and Neal Potter announced their support for the ballot question.
While much of the region has been hit by taxpayers' anger over rising property assessments and climbing property taxes, Montgomery County would be the first jurisidiction in the Washington metopolitan area to face the issue of permanent tax relief on the ballot this year.
If a cap on the tax rate were approved, it could could be overridden in any given year by seven votes of the council, which will expand to a nine-member body in December.
SWIMMING POOL FENCES -- The council unanimously approved a bill raising the required height for fences surrounding private swimming pools from 52 inches to 5 feet. The measure would apply only to new fences.
Council members said they approved the bill as a safety measure, because the current fence height requirement may be insufficient to protect unsupervised children from entering a private pool.