2020 | Politics

Voters OK Question A’s plan to remove tax revenue cap

Majority opposed to other tax proposal in Question B

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Tables with privacy screens are set up and ready for voters at the Gaithersburg Activity Center on Election Day.

Photo by Caitlynn Peetz

This story was updated at 1:12 a.m. on Nov. 4, 2020, to update polling results.

Montgomery County voters are leaning toward removing the county’s tax revenue cap, according to preliminary election results shared Tuesday night.

Question A, proposed by the County Council, called for removing a cap that limits how much the county’s property tax revenue can increase in a single year.

Council Member Andrew Friedson spearheaded Question A.

According to Montgomery County Board of Elections figures as of 12:49 a.m., 178,696 (62.4%) were in favor and 107,582 (37.6%) were opposed.

Those figures include early voting and mail-in ballots that the Board of Elections had received. They do not include provisional ballots.

Question B — which was placed on the ballot through a petition drive by county resident Robin Ficker and called for limiting tax increases — was losing, according to the first round of results.

The results showed 166,169 (58.4%) opposed to Question B and 118,5542 (41.6%) in favor.

Question B would prohibit the council from increasing property tax revenue greater than a percentage equal to the CPI in the Washington region for a 12-month period ending on Nov. 30 of the preceding year.

Ficker’s proposal would eliminate the possibility of a greater increase, even by a unanimous vote, under any circumstances.

Under Question A, all nine council members would have to vote in favor to approve an increase in the tax rate.

Currently, the council is only allowed to increase its revenue by a percentage equal to the Consumer Price Index in the Washington region for a 12-month period ending on Nov. 30 of the preceding year.

The cap was 1.27% for the current fiscal year. It is estimated to be 0.6% in the next fiscal year. Without a cap, the increase could be higher than the CPI.

Briana Adhikusuma can be reached at briana.adhikusuma@bethesdamagazine.com.