Maryland Tax Assessment Call to Action

Published Monday, February 12, 2018

The National Club Association (NCA) has become aware of a move by Maryland Delegate David Moon (D) to alter the way the State of Maryland assesses the real estate value for club land throughout the state. Currently, clubs are provided the opportunity to enter into an agreement with the state that assesses club land at $1,000/acre. In return for this lowered assessment, clubs agree to refrain from selling their lands for development. With this agreement, the state helps to preserve green space, limit urban sprawl and minimize traffic congestion while clubs minimize their overall tax liability, which facilitates job growth and higher wages for club employees.

Delegate Moon’s measure would require that all Maryland club lands be assessed at their fair market value—effectively increasing the real estate taxes for all private clubs. For most clubs, the actual tax increase could be five times or more what they are currently paying.

This bill was originally introduced as a measure only in Montgomery County—meaning it would have only impacted clubs in that county. NCA has worked with our member clubs in that county to actively stop this effort. Assisting us has been the lobbying firm of Cornerstone Government Affairs, whose lead lobbyist wrote the original law establishing these agreements in the first place.

I am pleased to say that our efforts to stop this Montgomery County-only bill seems to be working. Del. Moon has had to alter his strategy and he has now made this a statewide bill, HB1340. The bill has been assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee but has not scheduled a hearing yet. HB1340 does the following:

  • Repeals the $1,000 per acre assessment and replaces that with an assessment of 1 percent of market value.
  • Requires that agreements between a club and the Department of Assessments & Taxation not exceed five years.
  • Agreements may only be extended in maximum five-year increments.

We need your help to stop this legislation from becoming law. NCA and Cornerstone will be setting up a conference call on Tuesday, February 13 at 4:30 p.m. with Maryland club leaders to discuss the issue and our plan of attack. Please be on the lookout for the call-in information.

In addition, please understand that clubs in Montgomery County have thus far satisfied the financial requirements necessary to secure the services of Cornerstone. With this measure now impacting all Maryland clubs, the firm’s work will increase. We hope you will consider contributing to those fees in an effort to ensure your club’s property taxes do not exponentially increase. As a marker, all clubs in Montgomery County provided at least $1,000 to the efforts.

Should you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact me at 202-822-9822 or steele@nationalclub.org. Otherwise, I will look forward to speaking with you shortly.

NCA is sending this information to its members as well as all nonmember clubs in Maryland in order to build support to fight this bill. Thank you for your participation.

Corporate Partners

Club Industry Brief

NCA's free bi-weekly news digest is designed specifically for private club leaders. It covers industry news and trends and articles on golf, membership and operations for private clubs.