News Briefs: Potomac

News Briefs: Potomac

A sign at Potomac United Methodist Church encourages loving your neighbor from a distance.

A sign at Potomac United Methodist Church encourages loving your neighbor from a distance.

Virtual Budget Hearings During Covid

Residents testifying during the County Council’s public hearings on the proposed $5.9 billion 2021 Operating Budget will do so virtually this year on Thursday, April 16 at 1:30 and 7 p.m.

County Executive Marc Elrich presented his recommended operating budget to the Council on March 16. The Council will adopt the FY21 County budget in late May. The budget will take effect on July 1.

The Council encourages comments and suggestions online at; via email at; by sending regular mail to County Council, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850; or by calling the Council’s budget hotline at 240-777-7802. Residents can also provide comments on the operating budget via social media using #BudgetVoices2021.

Town Hall During Covid

Maryland Sen. Brian Feldman will hold a District 15 Online Legislative Town Hall Meeting on Sunday, April 26, 2020, with Delegates Kathleen M. Dumais, David Fraser-Hidalgo, and Lily Qi. The meeting is scheduled to take place on Zoom from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m..

While this year's legislative session was adjourned early and it is unsafe to gather in person, the District 15 team will discuss the work of the 2020 General Assembly, the work of the upcoming Special Session currently scheduled for the end of May, and provide updates regarding the #Coronavirus pandemic from a legislative perspective.

The online event is free and open to the public.

See to sign up for information on attending the online meeting.

Tax Returns During Covid

Maryland will temporarily stop processing paper tax returns on April 15 in an effort to keep essential employees safe amid the spread of COVID-19, according to Comptroller Peter Franchot. He urges Maryland taxpayers seeking refunds to file electronically as soon as possible

The deadline for individuals and businesses to file and pay state income taxes has been extended until July 15.

The decision to temporarily stop processing paper returns after April 15 will further reduce staff who are required to work on site, according to Franchot.

Nearly 86 percent of the more than three million returns processed annually by the agency are filed electronically, while approximately 450,000 returns are manually submitted, costing the state about $5 each to process. It takes an average of 2.2 business days to process an electronically filed return compared to the average of 22 business days to process a paper return, according to Franchot.

Unemployment During Covid

The Maryland Department of Labor has received an unprecedented number of unemployment insurance claims in the past few weeks. While over 94 percent of claims are currently processed online, aggressive steps are being taken to improve service for those who attempt to file by phone. The Maryland Department of Labor is in the process of more than doubling staffing at claims centers across the state. The Claims Center telephone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and additional Saturday hours are set to open this week. To contact a Claim Center, call 410-949-0022. If you are having difficulty placing a call or accessing the website, e-mail In addition, many individuals who have not previously been eligible for unemployment insurance will now be eligible for benefits through the CARES Act’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program.

Small Business During Covid

Small business owners are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Call 1-800-659-2955 or email