Fri December 27, 2013
Lawsuit Over Fundraising Decision, Property Assessments, and An Expiring Commuter Tax Credit
Supporters of state Attorney General Doug Gansler’s gubernatorial campaign have filed a lawsuit over a State Board of Elections opinion on fundraising. A commuter tax credit is set to expire. MD property assessments go out. The Ravens prep for their final game of the regular season. And more.
Lawsuit Filed To Prevent Ulman From Fundraising During 2014 Session: Supporters of state Attorney General Doug Gansler’s gubernatorial bid have filed a lawsuit aimed at stopping rival Anthony Brown’s running mate from raising money during next year’s General Assembly session. Last week, the State Board of Elections ruled that Brown’s pick for lieutenant governor, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, could raise money while the legislature meets. State law bans state officeholders from raising campaign donations during the annual session; that applies to Gansler and his running mate, Prince George’s County Delegate Jolene Ivy. As Maryland’s current Lieutenant Governor, Brown is also prohibited from fundraising. The lawsuit says Ulman should be covered as well, because the two candidates are acting “in coordination.” A third Democrat in the Governor’s race, Montgomery County Delegate Heather Mizeur, has agreed to accept public financing for her campaign, so she is allowed to accept donations up to $250 while the session’s underway. There’s more here from the Washington Post, more here from the Baltimore Sun, and more here from the Capital Gazette.
Commuter Tax Credit To Expire: Starting January 1st, people who commute by bus or MARC train could have to pay more. The federal commuter tax break is set to drop from its current $245 a month to $130 a month. Lawmakers could restore the full incentive when Congress returns from break. The MTA says nearly nine-thousand people use public transit daily to get to Washington DC and other areas. There’s more here from the Baltimore Sun.
MARC Schedules: A reminder of this morning’s schedule changes for MARC trains… Penn and Brunswick Line trains are on an “S” schedule, and there’s no MARC train service on the Camden Line.
Property Assessments: Many Maryland homeowners will likely pay more in property taxes next year. The State Department of Assessments and Taxation will send out notices today for a third of Maryland properties; the Baltimore Sun reports that average home values rose 1.3 percent statewide, with average home values in Baltimore City going up more than 4 percent. Commercial properties statewide saw their average values go up 16.3 percent. Assessments are conducted every three years; they’ll be used for the property tax bills that go out in July.
Diversity Of State Police In Question: WYPR's Fraser Smith and Afro contributing writer Sean Yoes talk about the decline in the percentage of African American state police officers and how the state's Legislative Black Caucus might address it in the upcoming General Assembly session. It’s this morning’s look Inside Maryland Politics.
Phillips Plans Expansion: The New Year will see an expansion to the Baltimore-based Phillips Seafood Restaurant chain. The company currently has as five restaurants that are corporately-owned, as well as eleven franchises, and is set to add several more starting with a new restaurant in Harford County at the redone Maryland House. Phillips also plans to open restaurants next year in locations including Washington, DC, Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Detroit. More here from the Baltimore Business Journal.
Inner Harbor Laser Light Shows Begin: The Power Plant Holiday Light Show Spectacular got underway at the Inner Harbor last night. The combination of music and lights will run every night through New Year's Eve, with several shows a night. WJZ has more.
Baltimore Trash/Recycling Pickup: A reminder for Baltimore City residents who didn’t get their trash or recycling picked up on Wednesday, because of the Christmas holiday – your makeup pickup day is tomorrow (Saturday).
Baltimore Football: The Ravens are continuing their preparations for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals– it’s their last game of the regular season. In order to get to the post-season, the Ravens have to win it – and either the Chargers or the Dolphins have to lose their final game of the season.