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Baltimore County officials may adjust cellphone tax proposal

Posted at 7:04 PM, May 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-16 09:17:06-04

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. is backing away from his original cellphone tax proposal, which involved taxing each phone per bill each month.

He proposed the controversial tax in an attempt to make up for an $81 million budget deficit.

Olszewski says he still wants to raise money for schools, parks, and roads, but he does not want to cut too deeply into families' budgets.

"We've had lots of conversations," said Olszewski. "We've been engaging in town halls and forums and hearing from our residents and from council members, but we heard loud and clear. There were concerns about the per line approach and so we're actively working to try to find a better way to still meet the needs, but also do so in a way that's more aware of how our families might be impacted."

The county executive says he is exploring a surcharge on each account or each family. He will also look for additional revenue to make the deficit up elsewhere in his proposed budget.