|Formation of a Community Special Taxing District - the Saunders Point Special Community Benefits District
The Association voted to begin the process of creating a special taxing district at our November 2017 General Membership Meeting. The County has approved the petition and the Association is now actively petitioning property owners to supprt a community special taxing district. The approved petition has been mailed to all property owners in Saunders Point. We encourage all owners to sign the petition in support of the community special taxing district.
The purposes of this proposed special taxing district would be:
To maintain, repair, construct, and remove snow from, non-County-owned roads, streets, street or road signs, drainage ditches, swales, culverts, walks, ways, bridges, jetties and wharves;
To maintain, improve, develop, acquire and protect the community-owned real and personal property;
To provide recreational activities directly related to the community; and;
To establish and operate of a community security program; and,
To provide for the administrative and operating expenses incidental to carrying out these purposes, including postage and mailing, auditing, insurance, attorneyï¿½s fees, legal costs, and including acquisition and repayment of any loans and any interest thereon.
It is requested that the method of taxation be a uniform assessment per tax account.
The Anne Arundel County Code requires the we petition and get the signatures of more than 50% of the property owners and then go before the Anne Arundel County Council to request approval of a community special taxing district. You can read more information on special taxing districts in Anne Arundel County and the requirments and procedures to be followed in creating one HERE
Under the provisions of the Anne Arundel County Code, a special taxing district permits all the property owners within the district to request that the County levy a "special" tax on the properties within that district to be used to fund the purposes for which the district was formed. In the case of Saunders Point, we are asking that property owners in the Community agree to a tax to maintain the Community-owned roads, park, walkways, and the approximately 1100 feet of shoreline property and beach in front of Kings Road on the Chesapeake Bay. Each property owner in Saunders Point would be a voting member of the group that would determine any tax to be levied. An annual budget would be prepared and voted on by all property owners. Any tax to be levied would be approved by a majority of the property owners.
Since Saunders Point was developed, by Barse Stonebraker, an annual $20 fee has been collected to maintain the Community's roads, walks, ways, bridges, jetties, wharves and beaches. There are 185 platted lots in Saunders Point, so that $20 fee generates $3,700 per year. While that was a large sum of money in the 1950's, today $3,700 does not go that far in covering insurance and maintenance of the Community's property. The condition of our park and beach is a direct result of limited resources that the Community has. As I indicated during November's General Membership Meeting, there is a real danger that soon the $20 annual fee we collect will not cover basic expenses and the insurance bill for the park and beach.
The proposed special taxing district would permit a tax to be uniformly levied and collected on each property tax account in Saunders Point by Anne Arundel County. This tax would be a flat additional amount added to the current property tax total on each tax bill that a property owner receives for property owned in Saunders Point. If you receive more than one tax bill, for property you own in Saunders Point, you would pay this additional "special" tax on each property tax account.
The amount of any proposed tax would be determined by the annual budget approved by all the property owners. Voting would be by property tax account in Saunders Point. Each property tax account would be entitled to 1 (one) vote on the annual budget for the special taxing district. All owners of record per the Land Records of Anne Arundel County would have to agree on how that property's vote would be cast. Individuals with multiple tax accounts in Saunders Point would receive a vote for each property tax account. The "special" tax levied by the County would be determined by dividing the property owner-approved annual budget by the total number of tax accounts in Saunders Point.
Residents of the Community have regularly expressed their opinions that our park should be maintained in better condition and that we should do something to maintain and stabilize the beach. In 2004 when a former president of the Association was studying beach restoration, he determined that to restore the beach we would be looking at a tax of approximately $85.00 per year per lot assuming a 15-year State interest-free loan. I am sure those numbers are different now. I don't know if the Community at-large would support such an expenditure, but these are some of the projects for which resources that could be generated through a special taxing district are needed. The park and the waterfront are amenities that provide value to our property and they should be cared for and maintained, but ultimately that is a decision all property owners will have to make.
More than 50% of the property owners of record in Saunders Point must sign a petition agreeing to be taxed in this manner for the Community to proceed with the process to establish a special taxing district. Members of your Community will be approaching you to ask for your support. You can download and sign the Approved Petition and return it to SPCA at P.O. Box 275, Mayo, Maryland 21106.