Charles Co. Gov. News Briefs - Southern Maryland Headline News

Charles Co. Gov. News Briefs

Commissioners Set Guidelines for General Assembly Legislative Package Process

The Charles County Commissioners have established the time guidelines for the preparation of their 2014 General Assembly Legislative Package. Any citizen, group, or organization interested in submitting a legislative proposal or suggestion for revision or amendment to an existing state law should send it in writing by Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, to: Legislative Request, Office of the County Attorney, P.O. Box 2150, La Plata, Maryland 20646.

Each proposal that requires enactment by the Maryland General Assembly will be included in a preliminary package that will be available for distribution on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, and then presented to the County Commissioners at a public hearing on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, at 7 p.m. Anyone who submits a proposal will be asked to attend the hearing to provide a brief synopsis of the initiative and to answer any questions that may arise from those in attendance.

Work sessions will be held at a later date following the hearing to review the proposals and determine which ones will be included in the County Commissioners' 2014 General Assembly Legislative Package and forwarded to the Charles County Delegation for consideration.

For more information, call the Office of the County Attorney at 301-645-0555.

Volunteers Needed to Test Drive-Up Medicine Dispensing Capability

The Charles County Department of Health will conduct an emergency preparedness exercise on Thursday, Oct.3 at Regency Furniture Stadium (11765 St. Linus Drive, Waldorf) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The exercise is a simulation of the Department of Health's mass dispensing plan in the event of a public health emergency. The purpose is to determine the amount of medication that can be dispensed in a limited amount of time via this method.

An outdoor dispensing site will be set up in the Regency Furniture Stadium parking lot and staffed by Department of Health personnel and community response partners. The public is invited to participate by driving through the dispensing site to receive simulated medicine in the form of snack bars.

Community partners and organizations supporting the exercise include: Regency Furniture Stadium, The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Charles County Department of Emergency Services, Charles County Sheriff's Office, Maryland State Police, Southern Maryland Amateur Radio Club, Public Information Officers of Today, Charles County Department of Public Works, Charles County Government, and VanGO.

The department of health would like to encourage everyone to participate in this exercise. The time to drive through the dispensing site is estimated to take no longer than 20 minutes. Volunteers can play a vital part in helping Charles County become a more prepared community.

For more information, contact Mr. William Leebel, Promotions Specialist, at 301-609-6759 or

Note: This exercise will be canceled in event of severe weather.

Commuter Tax Credit Program Available to Maryland Employers

Maryland employers, including 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) organizations, can now claim a tax credit for 50 percent of eligible costs of providing commuter benefits up to a maximum credit of $50 per participating employee per month. The tax credit can be taken against personal income tax, corporate income tax, or insurance premium tax.

Non-profits can claim the tax credit by:

-- Submitting an annual registration form to the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA).

-- Setting up an account with Comptroller of the Treasury.

-- Submitting participating employees' withholding taxes to the state, and retaining a portion as tax credit.

-- Submitting a year-end Maryland Form 500CR to the state.

Credit is applicable to the following expenses:

-- Transit instruments: MTA passes, tickets, fare cards, smart cards, or vouchers used by employees to ride publicly or privately owned transit systems, except taxi services. Employers can purchase transit instruments from MTA Commuter Choice Maryland, WMATA Smart Benefits, St. Mary's Transit, Calvert County Public Transportation, or Charles County's VanGO.

-- Company vanpool program: Van purchase/lease, fuel, insurance, maintenance, safety, and equal access upgrades, and taxes and licenses.

-- Company guaranteed ride home program: Expenses involved when an employer offers transportation home to an employee who is currently commuting by transit or vanpool and has a home emergency or unscheduled overtime. Employer may offer taxi rides, rental car, company vehicle, or transit.

-- Company cash in lieu of parking program: Expenses involved when an employer offers an employee the taxable cash equivalent of a parking subsidy the employer is paying to provide that employee a subsidized parking space. Employees can either pay the full market value for the parking space or pocket the money and ride transit or a vanpool.

An employee must submit a registration form to the State of Maryland prior to filing a tax form. Submit forms to: Mr. Buddy Alves, MTA, 6 St. Paul Street, Office of Communications and Marketing, Baltimore, MD 21202. Employer should also complete form 500CR to apply tax credits toward the total tax liability for the calendar year in which commuter benefits are paid.

For additional information, contact:

Mr. George Clark, Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland at 240-216-5571 or

MTA at 410-767-8755 or visit or or Comptroller of Maryland at 800-638-2937

Fall and Winter Trips Announced

The Charles County Department of Community Services offers many trips and tours throughout the calendar year-bus trips, overnight trips, and "Fly Away" trips in which you travel to far away destinations.

Upcoming Trips and Tours (All Ages):

King of Prussia Mall, Pennsylvania - Date: Saturday, Nov. 9
Registration Deadline: Oct. 9. Fee: $62/pp.

The Days of Belsnickel, Pennsylvania - Date: Saturday, Dec. 7
Registration Deadline: Nov. 7. Fee: $123/pp.

Christmas Spectacular & Rockettes in New York - Date: Saturday, Dec. 14

Registration Deadline: Nov. 14. Fee: $188/pp.

Christmas in Washington, D.C. - Date: Saturday, Dec. 21
Registration Deadline: Nov. 21. Fee: $43/pp.

Upcoming Trips and Tours (Seniors Citizens, age 60+):

American Music Theatre Christmas Show, Pennsylvania - Date: Tuesday, Nov. 19
Registration Deadline: Oct 18. Fee: $116/pp.

The Holidays at Mount Vernon, Virginia - Date: Wednesday, Dec. 18
Registration Deadline: Nov 18. Fee: $86/pp.

Reflections of Italy, Italy- Date: Wednesday, Sept. 24 to Friday, Oct. 3, 2014
Registration Deadline: March 18, 2014. Fee: $4,279 double/pp; $4,979 single/pp.

Online registration is available at Registrations for trips are accepted at the Department of Community Services (Port Tobacco). Senior trip registrations are also accepted at the Richard R. Clark Senior Center (La Plata).

For more information other events offered by the Department of Community Services, visit, or call 301-934-9305 or 301-870-3388. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

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