Super-storm Sandy caused major damage and destruction along the east coast, and while certain areas in our region were inconvenienced by the storm, I was relieved that the storm spared much of our region and did not hit Baltimore County with the force it was originally projected. I applaud the efforts of state and local emergency officials, as well as BGE personnel who worked around the clock before, during, and after the storm to ensure that our area was prepared to endure whatever Sandy brought with her.
With that said, my thoughts and prayers are with the many families in New Jersey, New York, and the other coastal areas whose fate was not so fortunate. The images of damage and destruction in the wake of the storm are heartbreaking, and while recovery is no easy task, I am hopeful that the cleanup and recovery efforts will be expedient, smooth and successful. Coupled with the recent snow storm, my heart goes out to all of those affected, and I am especially grateful to all of the volunteers, businesses, residents, and especially the public safety, military and reserve officers who have dedicated their time to assist with the relief efforts. .
This weekend, Americans celebrate Veterans Day on November 11th. On this occasion, we honor the men and women who have courageously served in our Armed Forces protecting and defending our country during our proudest and most vulnerable moments. Although many businesses and offices may be closed in observance of the holiday on Monday, November 12, it is November 11th that holds the true significance. November 11th is a symbolic date, as it marked the end of World War I, when hostilities formally ended as of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in November, 1918.
Baltimore County is home to many American Veterans, and it is important that we recognize and give them credit they deserve for all that they have done, and all they continue to do in our communities. If you are interested in how you can get involved, contact your local veterans’ association, American Legion and VFW Posts for information about Veterans Day ceremonies and festivities. It is also a good time to consider donating your gently used clothing or appliances to a charitable organization that benefits our brave American Veterans.
I have mentioned in the past, some of the benefits available to Veterans, but it is particularly relevant this month to point out a commonly overlooked tax benefit available to certain veterans who are disabled. Disabled American Veterans or their surviving spouse whose principal residence is in Baltimore County may qualify for a property tax exemption and refund of up to three years of property taxes paid to Baltimore County. In my role as a member of the County Council, I have sponsored and/ voted in support of a number of Resolutions authorizing such refunds to qualified individuals in the Sixth District, and throughout the county. More information and an application is available from the State Department of Assessments and Taxation, or by clicking here. Of course, consult your tax advisor if you have specific questions about this benefit.
Thank you to all of the troops currently serving our country and to all Veterans, both living and deceased, who have bravely served and defended our American freedom. You are true heroes and your sacrifices will not be forgotten.
Councilwoman, Sixth District