• Preparing for Annapolis and Scholarship Information

    Preparing for Annapolis

    Next month Delegate Fennell and I will return to Annapolis for our fourth legislative session.  It will be the last year of our four-year term.  We will be running for re-election in 2018 as a team for another four year term.

    The upcoming legislative session will be full of real challenges.  In this and upcoming newsletters I will discuss some of the issues that we will be working on in Annapolis.

    Over-Riding Governor Vetoes

    One of the first actions we will take will be to over-ride the Governor’s veto of two pieces of legislation we passed in our last session:
    The first bill was the Paid Sick Leave Act which would have covered 700,000 Maryland workers.  It would give employees in business of more than 15 people five days of paid sick leave a year.  It was good legislation for working people and we want to make sure it becomes law next year.

    The second bill was the Ban the Box Act.  This bill would have would have barred colleges in the state from asking about criminal history on admissions applications.  It is important to note that the bill would not stop colleges from doing background checks on perspective students. The legislation would allow colleges to reject applicants with criminal records as long as they do not “automatically or unreasonably restrict” admission based on that factor.  Moreover, schools could develop policies restricting such students from campus housing or certain academic programs, such as pharmacy studies and law enforcement.

    Planning An Aggressive Agenda

    I, along with others, will be pushing an aggressive agenda.   Some of our priorities will be:

    • increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour;
    • passing legislation to make community colleges tuition free (funded by closing corporate loopholes);
    • increasing the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 50% by 2030 and passing legislation to make sure that our citizens are not kept in jail beyond their sentence just because they do not have the correct immigrant papers; and,
    • banning the sale of bump stocks, the device used in the Las Vegas mass shooting to turn a semiautomatic rifle into a rapidly firing weapon.

    I will talk about more of the hot issues to be debated in Annapolis in future reports.

    Some of My Initiatives – Part I

    I have been busy working on legislation that I plan to introduce in January.  Here are a few of my bills.  I’ll summarize some others in the next newsletter

    1 – De-coupling the Maryland Estate Tax from the Federal Estate Tax
    One piece of legislation which I am preparing to introduce will make sure that the Maryland estate tax is not tied to the Congressional plan that will raise the exemption on the estate tax to $11 million.  If we do not separate ourselves from what is being done in Congress, Maryland will lose $50 -$100 million.  This will affect only 80 estates in all of Maryland.  These estates belong to the wealthiest one tenth of one per cent of the people in our state.

    2 –  Informing Homeowners About the Homestead Tax Rebate
    When I am visiting people in their homes, I am finding a good percentage of folks who are not receiving the Homestead Tax Rebate.  You could be losing a lot of money if you are not getting the rebate.  The Homestead Credit is for every owner-occupied residence in Maryland, no matter the household income.
    The Homestead Credit limits the increase in taxable assessments each year to a fixed percentage.  Every county and municipality in Maryland is required to limit taxable assessment increases to 10% or less each year. You can view a listing of homestead caps for each local government here http://dat.maryland.gov/realproperty/Documents/Homestead_Percent_Caps.pdf
    The Homestead Credit does not limit the market value of the property – it is  a credit calculated on any assessment increase exceeding 10% (or the lower cap enacted by the local governments) from one year to the next.  In other words, the homeowner pays no property tax on the market value increase which is above the limit.

    The problem is that in 2009, the government  found that some properties that were not owner-occupied were getting the credit, so they made everybody fill out a one-time application for the credit.  Some people did not apply and they have not been receiving the tax credit.  I believe up to 20% of the homeowners in our County do not receive the homestead tax rebate.

    My legislation would require the Department of Assessment and Taxation every three years to send a reminder notice to all those homeowners who are eligible and have not applied for the rebate.

    3 – Expanding Overtime Coverage in Maryland

    The current salary level for people who are administrative or supervisory employees has been in place since 2004. The current level is $12.25 per hour or $23,600. My legislation would increase it to $17.50 per hour or $700 per week. That means any employee who earns under that amount will be paid overtime, or time-and-a-half, for working more than 40 hours a week. Businesses with revenue of less than $500,000 annually would be exempt from the new rules.

    4 – Expanding Tuition Debt Credit to Graduate Loans 

    In 2016 we passed legislation that gave a new tax credit available for Maryland residents who incurred at least $20,000 in total undergraduate student loan debt and have at least $5,000 in outstanding student loan debt during the tax year for which you are applying. Unfortunately, it did not include graduate debt which is how people accumulate hundreds of thousands of student debt.  My bill would not increase the amount appropriated for the tax credit ($5 million) but would enable people with graduate debt to be eligible.  There will be more people applying but it will now include those with the highest student debt.

    School Year 2018-2019 Scholarship Applications  Now Available!

    My scholarship is now available for my constituents living in District 47A, who are attending or will be attending a Maryland undergraduate, graduate, or professional school during school year 2018-2019.

    You can print out an application at my web-site:  www.jimmytarlau.org  or contact me at jimmy.tarlau@house.state.md.us  and request one by email.  This year, my scholarship application is due Friday, April 13th.

    District 47’s Holiday Party & Toy Drive Thursday, Dec 21st

    7 PM – 11 PM

    Mexico Lindo Restaurant

    5652 Annapolis Rd, Bladensburg

    Music by DJ Mike G

    NO CHARGE – But Bring a New Unwrapped Toy!

    Toys will be donated to St. Anne’s Center for Children, Youth and Families

    Supreme Court Won’t Review Maryland’s Law Banning Sales of ‘Assault Weapons’
    The Supreme Court declined to review a Maryland law banning the sale of semiautomatic guns with certain military-style features, similar to weapons used in recent mass shootings.

    Maryland’s ban on “assault” weapons was passed after the 2012 mass shooting at a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school.  The majority opinion refers to the banned firearms as “weapons of war” that the court says are most useful in the military.  The Court held that the Second

    Amendment provides absolutely zero protection to the most popular long guns in the country and standard-capacity ammunition magazines that number in the tens of millions.”

    Hawaii, Massachusetts and New Jersey, as well as many cities and towns, have similar laws.

    Asking For Support
    Diana Fennell and I are running for re-election next year.  If you are satisfied with the kind of representation that I’ve demonstrated, please give me your support.  It costs a lot of money to run for election and we will not be able to accept donations once the Legislative Session begins on January 10th through April 10th.

    Checks can be made out to:
    Friends of Jimmy Tarlau, 4213 34th Street, Mount Rainier, MD 20712 or by going to the web-site:  www.jimmytarlau.net

    Authorized by Friends of Jimmy Tarlau,  Jodi Beder Treasurer  

  • Public Meeting on Local Bills

     

    Public Meeting On Local Bills Affecting  Prince George’s County

    Tues Dec 5th at 7 PM

    Prince George’s Comm. College, 301 Largo Rd., Largo Rennie Forum

    These are bills that only affect Prince George’s county or bi-county agencies.  There will be important legislation discussed including bills about the MagLev train and the School Board.  It is the only public hearing to be held locally so if you’re interested in hearing about some of the bills make sure you come.

    Here are some of the bills to be discussed:

    PG 400-18                     Abandoned Property – Special Property Tax Rate
    PG 401-18                     Asset Transfer for Magnetic Levitation Transportation  System – Municipal Agreement
    PG 402-18                     Asset Transfer for Maglev- Hearing and Approval Requirements
    PG 403-18                     Video Lottery Facility – Local Development Council Membership
    PG 404-18                     Vacant and Abandoned Residential Property – Foreclosure
    PG 405-18                     Property Tax Credit for Security Cameras Systems
    PG 407-18                     Property Tax – Homeowners Property Tax Credit Supplement
    PG 408-18                     Affordable Housing Commission
    PG 409-18                     Landlord Tenant Cases – Alternative Dispute Resolution Program
    PG 410-18                     Task Force to Study Health and Safety Standards for Rental Housing
    PG 411-18                     Prince George’s County Environmental Justice Commission
    PG 412-18                     Sale of Residential Real Property- Community Amenities – Advertising
    PG 501-18                     Elementary School – Limit on Class Size
    PG 504-18                     Student Hearing and Vision Screenings – Reporting Requirements
    PG 506-18                     Students with Disability Report
    PG 507-18                     Election of Vice Chair and Voting Procedures
    PG 509-18                     Prince George’s County Board of Education – Governance
    PG 510-18                    Teachers and Administrators Child Protective Services Investigation     Findings
    PG 511-18                     Academic Revitalization and Management Effectiveness Initiative – Repeal
    PG 512-18                     School Overcrowding Reduction Act of 2018
    PG 302-18                     Speed Monitoring Systems – Rte 210
    PG 303-18                     Alcoholic Beverages – Class BLX License – Movie Theaters
    PG 304-18                     Alcoholic Beverages-Entertainment Permits-Exception
    PGMC 102-18               Special Exception Hearings – Required Notice
    PGMC 108-18                Maryland-Washington Regional – Prince George’s County – Municipal Authority
    PGMC 103-18               Connection Pipe Emergency Replacement Loan Program
    PGMC 109-18               Public Utilities – Property Management
    PGMC 114-18               Ancostia River Trail – Solar Lighting Study

    For more information on any of these bills use this
    link:   https://www.princegeorgeshousedelegation.com/legislation/bill-view

    Washington Post Writes Article On My Plan

    to Introduce Legislation to Separate Maryland from

    Republican Tax Proposals in CongressWhat is happening in Washington will have a tremendous impact on Maryland. The Republican tax package now being debated in Congress will give multi-millionaires a huge tax credit, There is at least one thing that we in Maryland can do to separate ourselves from the Federal Tax Package.
    We need to de-couple from the Federal Estate Tax Changes.

    23rd Mount Rainier Community Crafts Fair 

    Sat. Dec. 2 10AM-5PM

    “This cooperative community event offers a wide variety of vendors with crafts including (but not limited to!) soap, jewelry, pottery, art, sculpture, photography,
    and knitted and crocheted clothing. The fair is not limited to adults. Each year there is one table exclusively for kids, allowing young crafters to sell their wares. As always, all items are hand crafted by the crafter, making each item at the fair special and unique.”

    Location: Joe’s Movement Emporium
    3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier

    Save the Date – District 47 Holiday Party & Toy Drive
    Thursday Dec 21st
    7 PM – 11 PM
    Mexico Lindo Restaurant
    5652 Annapolis Rd, Bladensburg
    [Admission is free but please bring an unwrapped toy which will be donated to the St. Anne’s Center for Children, Youth and Families]
    Toys for Tots Toy Drive is Underway at PGPD

    The gym at Prince George’s County Police headquarters is filling up fast with boxes of toys – including hundreds of new bikes. The PGPD is once again proudly partnering with the United States Marine Corps Reserves in hosting the Toys for Tots program in Prince George’s County. Every Christmas season the program collects new and unwrapped toys and distributes them to families in need. Donations are now being accepted for this year’s toy drive. Please visit https://edgewater-md.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/default.aspx to find drop-off locations and to register to receive toys. The toys collected by the PGPD and our partners will be distributed in December to those who have pre-registered.

    Authorized for by Friends of Jimmy Tarlau, Jodi Beder Treasurer

  • Invitation To My Holiday Celebration – Nov 29 2017

     

    My Holiday Dinner Celebration

    Wednesday, November 29

    6 to 8 PM

    Please join me and

    Congressman Anthony Brown

    Appropriations Committee Chair Maggie McIntosh

    Senator Victor Ramirez

    Delegates Diana Fennell and Carlo Sanchez

    Three Brothers Italian Restaurant
    4521 Kenilworth Ave.   Bladensburg, MD
    Tell me about your concerns
    Hear about my plans for next year’s session
    Meet Your Neighbors in the 47th District

    $5 for District 47 residents
    $100 Sponsor – $50 Supporter – $25 Friend

    [Diana Fennell and I are running for re-election.  If you are satisfied with the kind of representation that we’ve demonstrated, please give us your support.]

    Checks can be made out to:
    Friends of Jimmy Tarlau, 4213 34th Street, Mount Rainier, MD 20712 or by going to the web-site:  www.jimmytarlau.net

    Maryland Should Separate Itself from the Republican

    Tax Package

    What is happening in Washington will have a tremendous impact on Maryland.  The Trump tax package now being debated  in Congress will give multi-millionaires a huge tax credit, nothing for people in our community and an increased Federal deficit for which our children and grandchildren will have to make up.  There is at least one thing that we in Maryland can do to separate ourselves from the Federal Tax Package.  We need to de-couple from the Federal Estate Tax Changes.

    Currently, $5 million of an estate is exempt from the Federal Estate Tax ($4 million is exempt from Maryland estate tax). What that means is that the first $4 million of an estate is tax free.  The Republican proposal now being discussed in Congress would raise the exemption level to $11 million and then eliminate the estate tax altogether.  Unfortunately, legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly in 2014 tied the state’s estate tax to the Federal Estate Tax.

    Because the Maryland Estate Tax is tied to the Federal Estate Tax Emption, the proposal in Congress would cost the state over $100 million in tax revenues (from those who are most able to afford to pay!

    I plan to introduce legislation that would de-couple Maryland’s Estate Tax from the Federal Estate Tax.   We cannot afford the revenue loss, which will result from the increase in the estate exemption to $11 million.  We are going to need money for schools, for mass transit, and for tax relief for seniors.  We don’t need to give a tax break to the few people who have huge estates. We have to do everything possible in Maryland to protect our residents from the disastrous impact of the Republican tax package.

    Grant for Colmar Manor
    At a recent Board of Public Works meeting, the Board approved a request from the Department of Natural Resources to commit $97,347 in funding from the Community Parks and Playgrounds Program for a “development” project in Colmar Manor.  Specifically, these funds will be used to replace outdated playground equipment with new equipment appropriate for children ages 5-12 years old on the playground area of Newton Street.
    Hogan’s Executive Order on Boycotts Violated theFirst Amendment

    Governor Hogan took a page out of Donald Trump’s playbook by attempting to stifle free speech in our country. Whether it’s protests against racial inequality or against Israel’s policies in its occupied territories, people have a right to kneel, picket and boycott and should not be retaliated against for exercising that right. Senator Paul Pinsky and I wrote an op-ed piece in the Oct 26th Baltimore Sun on Hogan’s Executive Order.
    http://bsun.md/2gGkcpz

    Good News for Pedestrian and Bicycle Commuters

    to West Hyattsville Metro Station

    There will be two new construction projects on Queens Chapel Road and Ager Road by both the State and the County.In recent meetings, I learned about two positive developments;

    1) There will be a pedestrian activated signal on the crosswalk of the NW West Trail and Queens Chapel Road.  Everybody who has walked or biked across the road and those who drive up and down the QC road know how dangerous that crosswalk is.  It won’t be done though until the Queens Chapel Road project is being constructed which won’t be until next year or the year after. (State project)

    2) Jamestown Road (which goes from Queens Chapel to the Metro Station) will finally have some sidewalks!! Walking on the street has always been unpleasant and unsafe. (County project)
    Hopefully both improvements will make it easier to get to the metro.

    There will be a Community Meeting to get a status update from the State Highway Administration on the Queens Chapel Road project on December 12, 2017, at Thomas S. Stone Elementary School, 4500 34th St.  Mount Rainier.  The meeting will start at 6 PM.

    Progress On Removing Double Poles
    Double Poles?  Do you remember them. Double poles exist when the utility company puts in a new pole and doesn’t take out the old one.   I’ve been campaigning to get the utility companies to remove their extra poles since I became a State Delegate. Well, some good news. The number of double poles in Maryland has gone down from 36,394 (even though they said it wasn’t a problem) to 15,383 – a 57% decrease. That’s progress. All we want them to do is transfer the wires from the old poles to the new poles and take the old pole away in an expeditious manner. We’ll keep on pushing them to do what they’re supposed to do.  If you see a double pole that has not been removed or some loose wires that are hanging down, please email me at jtarlau@gmail.com or call me at 301-335-6099 and I will notify the utility companies and have them address the situation.