Isiah Leggett
Isiah Leggett (Courtesy of

The Montgomery County Council broke its winter recess last week to pass a bill allowing residents to prepay 2018 property taxes.

After an outpouring of interest from wealthy and middle-income homeowners, the legislation proved to be a last-minute chance for homeowners in Maryland’s largest jurisdiction to mitigate the impact of a new federal cap on tax deductions.

The proposal passed 7 to 1 and took effect Dec. 26 after it was signed by County Executive Isiah Leggett (D). Council member Nancy Navarro (D-Mid-County), who voted for the legislation, called it “an 11th-hour tax bill.”

Taking effect Jan. 1, the new tax caps deductions for state, local and property taxes at $10,000.

Macedonia Baptist Church Still at Odds with County over Slave Burials

In early March legal action was taken by a Macedonia Baptist Church in Bethesda church to stop the construction of luxury apartments on top of slave burial grounds.

Embarking on a yearlong battle with ultimatums and monthly protests, no official plans have yet been placed in writing regarding the future plans of the burial site, currently leased by the Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission.

The church, which is pushing to have the area deemed a historic designation, sent a letter on Dec. 8 to the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission detailing their request for the one-acre area of land. so that church members and descendants of those buried would be able to receive legal assurance that the cemetery site will not be disturbed or altered by development activities.

As of yet, no evidence of bodies has been found, other than historical references. However, adding the property to the county’s locational atlas of historic sites would provide the property with permanent protection.

MoCo Organization Holds Heart Health Training

The African American Health Program, an organization committed to eliminating health disparities and improving the quality of life for Black residents of Montgomery County, will hold diabetes and heart disease training for the month.

AAHP’s diabetes/heart health classes provide information and resources on how to maintain good heart health, as well as proper nutrition, weight loss, and other critical health matters.

Heart disease is the number one killer for all Americans and the statistics for these risks are even higher for African-Americans.

Lauren M. Poteat

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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