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New buses could cost Md. residents 15 pct. more in taxes

Wednesday - 5/23/2012, 1:30pm  ET

John Aaron, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Montgomery County has some of the most clogged roadways in the region, but a county task force's plan to address the issue has some residents less than thrilled.

The task force, appointed by County Executive Isiah Leggett, proposes funding a $1.8 billion bus transit project primarily through property tax hikes, reports the Washington Post. Some residents could see their property tax bills go up by as much as 15 percent, according to a report released Tuesday.

The 160-mile bus transit network would include routes along Colesville Road, Georgia Avenue and the Intercounty Connector, and cost $180 million per year to maintain, according to the Post.

The buses, or "Rapid Transit Vehicles" as they're being called, would supplement the county's existing RideOn system. It's not clear whether dedicated bus lanes would be built as part of the project.

At the Shady Grove Metro station on the Red Line, many residents understood the need for solutions to the area's congestion problems, but few though homeowners should foot the bill.

One man said of his property taxes, "I think they're high enough already. I pay well over $5000 a year. I think that's more than my fair share." Another said the proposal would force him to consider moving outside of the county.

The average household could see its yearly tax bill rise from between $320 and $580.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)