There are four Montgomery County referendum questions this year.

The wording of each is below, followed by a summary of what it means.

Question A
Charter Amendment by Act of County Council
Property Tax Limit — Limit Tax Rate Increases

Amend Section 305 of the County Charter to prohibit the County Council from adopting a tax rate on real property that exceeds the tax rate on real property approved for the previous year, unless all current Councilmembers vote affirmatively for the increase.

This amendment would replace the current property tax limit, which requires an affirmative vote of all current Councilmembers to levy a tax on real property that would produce total revenue that exceeds the total revenue produced by the tax on real property in the preceding fiscal year plus any increase in the Consumer Price Index.

The current property tax limit exempts real property tax revenue derived from: (1) newly constructed property; (2) newly rezoned property; (3) certain property assessed differently under State law; (4) property that has undergone a change in use; and (5) property in a development tax district to provide funding for capital improvements

• For
• Against

Summary: The Montgomery County Council has proposed removing a cap that limits how much the county’s property tax revenue can increase in a single year. The proposal would require all nine council members to approve an increase in the tax rate.

Currently, the county 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.

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Question B
Charter Amendment by Petition
Property Tax Limit — Prohibit Override

Amend Section 305 of the County Charter to prohibit the County Council from levying an ad valorem tax on real property that would produce total revenue (not including property tax revenue from certain enumerated sources) that exceeds the total revenue produced by the tax on real property in the preceding fiscal year plus a percentage of the previous year’s real property tax revenues that equals any increase in the Consumer Price Index.

Section 305 currently permits the County Council to exceed the limit on real property tax revenue only upon the affirmative vote of all current Councilmembers.

• For
• Against

Summary: Montgomery County resident Robin Ficker collected enough signatures on a petition to put a measure on the ballot to limit tax increases.

His proposal is to prohibit the County Council from increasing property tax revenue greater than 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.

Currently, the County Council may exceed the CPI percentage increase only if all nine council members agree. Ficker’s proposal would eliminate the possibility of a greater increase, even by a unanimous vote, under any circumstances.

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Question C
Charter Amendment by Act of County Council
County Council — Increase to 11 Councilmembers

Amend the County Charter to:
– expand the County Council to consist of 11, rather than the current 9, Councilmembers;
– increase from 5 to 7 the number of Council districts; and
– elect 7 Councilmembers by district and 4 Councilmembers at large.

• For
• Against

Summary: The Montgomery County Council currently has nine members — five elected by districts and four elected at-large, representing the entire county. The County Council has proposed expanding the council from nine seats to 11 seats. Seven members would be elected by district. The other four seats would remain at large.

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Question D
Charter Amendment by Petition
County Council – Alter Council Composition to 9 Districts

Amend Sections 102 and 103 of the County Charter to:
– divide the County into 9, rather than the current 5, Council districts;
– elect all Councilmembers by district, rather than the current 5 by district and 4 at large; and
– reduce from 5 to 1 the number of Councilmembers each voter can vote for.

• For
• Against

Summary: A group called Nine Districts for MoCo collected enough signatures on a petition to put a measure on the ballot to change the structure of the Montgomery County Council. The County Council currently has nine members — five elected by districts and four elected at-large, representing the entire county. The proposal by Nine Districts for MoCo would change the four at-large seats into seats elected by district. The council would stay at nine seats, with all nine elected by districts.