Exemptions Bring Relief to Property Owners

The Queen Anne’s County Commissioners are doing their part to help some county property owners during these tough economic times with the introduction of County Ordinance 09-02.

The legislation was first introduced at the County Commissioner’s meeting on January 13, 2009 and a public hearing was held at today’s meeting. County Commission President Gene Ransom introduced the legislation, which was co-sponsored by Commissioner Carol Fordonski and Commissioner Eric Wargotz.

County Ordinance 09-02 exempts those property owners with gross incomes below the Federal Poverty Guidelines from paying ready to serve charges for water and sewer services. The ready to serve charges are billed quarterly and the current rate for sewer is $78.50 per quarter, while the current rate for water is $41.98 per quarter.

According to the most recent statistics of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Poverty Rate for a family of four is $21,200.00. This amount is based upon the most recent census figures.

“Citizens are hurting and having trouble paying basic utilities as a result of the economic slow down and this is a tool to help some of those folks get through tough times,” said Ransom.

“We will certainly do all we can to ease the burden of our residents during these challenging times and this may help some of those in dire circumstances,” said Commissioner Paul Gunther.

Commissioner Fordonski echoed those sentiments. “We have a greater responsibility in these tough economic times to help those who can least afford these services,” she said. In order to qualify for the exemption, property owners must provide proof of actual federal gross income. Exemptions take effect July 1 and are valid for three years.

Tuesday’s legislative agenda also including hearings on Ordinance 08-19, Recommendations of the Kent Narrows Community Plan introduced by Commissioner Eric Wargotz on December 23, 2008; Ordinance 08-27 Permitted Uses and Requirements in the Suburban Estate District introduced by Commissioner Ransom on December 23, 2008 and Ordinance 09-01 addressing Agricultural and Equestrian Events introduced by Commissioner Paul Gunther on January 27, 2009.

For a complete copy of these ordinances, go to the information section of the county’s website at www.qac.org.