Montgomery council will tackle energy tax at end of budget process -- Gazette.Net







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The Montgomery County Council will make a decision on whether to reduce the county’s energy tax and by how much. But not for a while.

Councilmen Philip M. Andrews (D-Dist. 3) of Gaithersburg and Roger Berliner (D-Dist. 1) of Bethesda had introduced a resolution to reduce the amount of revenue from a 2010 increase in the tax by 10 percent, a move that would cost the county an estimated $11.5 million in revenue.

But members of the council’s Government Operations and Fiscal Policy and Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment committees agreed Thursday to add the matter to the list of items to be resolved before they pass the budget, scheduled for May 22.

County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) in his fiscal 2015 recommended operating budget proposed keeping the fuel-energy tax rate at the same rates set for fiscal 2014, which would provide an estimated $217.2 million in revenue in fiscal 2015.

The tax is paid by suppliers or producers of electricity, gas, steam, coal, fuel, oil or liquefied gas in the county.

Berliner said Thursday that rather than having a vote on the resolution, he’d prefer to work the issue out within the larger context of the budget.

Councilwoman Nancy Navarro (D-Dist. 4) of Silver Spring said she thought it would be best to work the issue out through the reconciliation process, when the council can look at the budget comprehensively.