We’re near a big City with lots of good jobs and we’re on the Metro and many bus lines; we have diverse neighborhoods, high quality local services and schools, well-run, interesting small businesses, a vibrant political culture, a varied housing stock, and a remarkable sense of community. So -- people want to live here. That can drive up housing costs, and our City services can be expensive. As a result, we’re in danger of having two Takoma Parks, one made up of expensive single family homes, the other with less pricey rental options, and little in between. We need to prevent that from happening, and one of my top priorities is seeking ways to enable young families to move here, down-sizing seniors to stay here, and low and moderate income residents to thrive here. Those are among the purposes of our Housing Strategic Plan and our Affordable Housing Fund. I look forward to using both initiatives to achieve those goals consistent with our racial equity policy. And, I’ll continue supporting moderate budgets with manageable tax rates.
- Housing and Economic Development Strategic Plan -- I played a major role in developing this plan, including provisions calling for supporting residents and businesses impacted by the Purple Line; working with the County to seek relevant zoning changes; collaborating with local, regional and national non-profits and financial institutions to create affordable housing; and improved enforcement of anti-discrimination laws.
- Affordable Housing Fund -- I ‘ve steadily pushed for adding dollars to the fund, which now has over $1 million in it. I’ll be pushing for using the funds, consistent with the Strategic Plan, to expand our efforts to help ensure that people of all backgrounds and income levels can find and stay in affordable housing in Takoma Park.
Accessory Dwelling Units -- I joined my Council colleagues in publicly supporting the plan approved by the County to allow higher numbers of ADUs in neighborhoods and more flexibility in the ADU conversion process.
- Budget and Property Taxes -- I’m a consistent fighter for tighter control of budgets and keeping property taxes flat or with minimal increases. I voted for a Constant Yield tax rate in the most recent budget which would have meant no property tax increase for most homeowners, and I voted against the tax increase that was approved.
- Tax Duplication -- I’m an active participant in ongoing efforts to lobby County elected officials for higher tax duplication payments to Takoma Park.
- Business Inventory Tax Repeal -- I voted for the repeal of this unfair tax. I initially favored a partial repeal that would have required larger companies to continue paying a portion of the tax, and resulted in a smaller revenue decline, but that alternative did not have sufficient Council support.