Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Tax Increases Being Prepared…

Posted by David Keelan on Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Get ready for tax increases.  First comes the prep work.  Senator Pipkin says it all…. but it comes down to this “SCARE TACTICS”.

Senator E. J. Pipkin (R. Upper Shore 36) voiced outrage at “fear and strong-arm tactics to force counties to support tax increases.” He pointed to an e-mail, prompted by the O’Malley administration and sent on July 5 by the Maryland Association of Counties’ (MACO) chief lobbyist, Dave Bliden, to various county leaders to motivate local government support of impending tax increases.

Why is MACO doing the bidding of the Governor’s office?  Aren’t they the Association of Counties?  Why on earth would they involve themselves in this battle?

Pipkin characterized the e-mail as “an end-run around most local elected officials which resembles the type of arm-twisting used by Tony Soprano and his ilk.”

Yep, they didn’t tell County Council nor our House or Senate representatives.  This went straight to the County Executive’s offices.

Referring to Josh White, the Governor’s Intergovernmental Relations Chief, the e-mail said, “Josh is interested in coordinating a message for the Governor as he goes on roadtrips to the counties. He (Josh White) is looking for not just the property tax equivalents, but real vignettes of the county ‘doomsday budgets’…like closing libraries, reductions in deputies, larger class size, no support for volunteer firefighters. I (Bliden) suggested a goal of 10 examples for each county, if the proposed State ‘doomsday budget’ comes to fruition…..”

Doomsday budgets.  Get ready folks.  We are going to have to shut down County Government.  Make no doubt about it the libraries will have to go out of business.  Please nominate 10 examples of your own for Howard County in the comments section below.

Now I will bet that Calvin Ball’s living wage bill will go foward without question.  No matter how much that contributes to the “doomsday budget” Ken Ulman will be screaming and crying about shortly.  Did I hear someone ask “Why will Calvin’s bill go foward?”  That is a good question.  As one reader put it to me:

Call it “charity for the unions” ask why, in the face of an alleged budget crisis would they consider raising costs that might require tax increases. Just paying back their union buddies for campaign donations and volunteer poll workers.

 The reader then encourages me to:

Call them out for buying votes with our tax dollars.

Well, honestly I didn’t think of Calvin’s bill in that light.  Now that the point is raised I have to ask the question.  The reader’s comments make sense to me.  We will have all the proof we need when we get the “DOOMSDAY” scare tactics thrown at us and Calvin’s bill passes.

Bliden goes on to say, “the Gov could be visiting the counties during the next weeks, which presents an opportunity to deliver. And, with a good product, we could share with the other counties to get them motivated. Something for discussion at our July 13 meeting.”

“It boggles the mind that such terms as ‘opportunity to deliver’ and ‘good product’ would be used to bamboozle Marylanders into handing over more of their hard earned money to the state,” said Pipkin.

Bliden continued, “Another good perspective would be having interested constituencies there to show their interest, e.g. the volunteer ff’ers (firefighters).”

Hmmm.  I wonder if Ken is going to call on the union here in Howard County.  He will probably pack the rooms with them.  He has probably told Mayor O’Malley that he can deliver any union the Mayor wants.  Although water meter readers at Public Works might be questionable.

Pipkin said, “I thought I was beyond shock and outrage until I read about using volunteer firefighters to help beef up the propaganda campaign to get locals to rally behind the state tax increases. The e-mail lays out an arrogant and shameless blueprint for getting locals to back tax increases. As Bliden says, the next few weeks of gubernatorial visits to the counties ‘is a good opportunity to make a case, and, even more important to convince the Governor we (the counties) are there 100% to help him help us.'”

“Absolutely shameless!” said Pipkin.

The referenced email follows:

Ladies and Gentlemen–

I just spoke to the County Executive Smith and Jan Gardner about a conversation I had with Josh White, the Governor’s Intergovernmental Relations Chief, about which we wanted to motivate a a response.

Josh is interested in coordinating a message for the Governor as he goes on roadtrips to the counties. He is looking for not just the property tax equivalents, but real vignettes of the county “doomsday”

budgets”… like closing libraries, reductions in deputies, larger class size, no support for volunteers firefighters. I suggested a goal of 10 examples for each county, if the proposed State “doomsday budget” comes to fruition..

The Gov could be visiting the counties during the next weeks , which presents an opportunity to deliver. And, with a good product, we could share with the other counties to get them motivated. Something for discussion at our July 13 meeting. Another good perspective would be having interested constituencies there to show their interest, e.g. the volunteer ff’ers.

This is a good opportunity to make a case and, even more important, to convince the Governor we are there 100% to help him help us.

Can you get your team motivated? We would be most willing to work with them.

Best wishes.

David

As Monoblogue put it:

I suppose my issue with this attitude is that, judging by this e-mail, counties are more interested in protecting their turf than asking the tough questions, both of themselves and of Governor O’Malley.

What would those tough questions be?  Examining our ever increasing spending  and stoping Calvin Ball’s “living wage” bill.  Despite what some people think Marylander’s are not open to having their pocket picked when Government can’t control their appetite for our money.

The Examiner picked up this story this morning.  Think it will be in The Sun?

Advertisements

8 Responses to “Tax Increases Being Prepared…”

  1. observer said

    I would bet that Ken already has 20 items listed for his doomsday budget proposal. You think that Robey’s 30% tax increase would have offered the opportunity to increase and sustain County services for a bit longer than this. By the way does Ken even have to pay his water bill now that he is County Executive?

  2. “Despite what some people think Marylander’s are not open to having their pocket picked when Government can’t control their appetite for our money.”

    I wish I shared your belief, but the last few years have taught me Marylanders are more than willing to hand their money over to the Government

  3. timactual said

    “Marylanders are more than willing to hand their money over to the Government”

    Of course. It is our duty. For the children.

  4. Tim,

    Are you joking? Please say you are joking.

  5. SallySells said

    David,
    Is O’Malley joking about a tax increase? Please say you are joking, I pay enough as it is…..

  6. Skipper said

    Are we talking county level tax increases here? I thought the budget was already proposed. If we are talking State tax increases, what do County Execs have to do with that?

    And shutting down the library? Does anyone really think Ulman would let that happen as long as he walks the earth?

  7. Gilligan said

    Skipper

    The point is that O’Malley is going to raise taxes or cut funding to the Counties. Their is always the 2009 budget. Do you see the connection?

  8. I own a home AND business, I'm REALLY screwed said

    Oh Noes!
    If HoCo has to scrape by on only the 1.4 Billion budget, we’ll have to lay off teachers, close libraries, close all the fire stations, close the police department, never pave a road again, all the restaurants will serve poison because there’s no health department, people will just wander the streets aimlessly because there’s no big government programs to make all their decisions for them. AND AND AND someone will actually try to light up a cigarette inside a building!!! Pandamonium!

    OK, that’ll be the government’s take.

    Let’s talk reality. How about some real tough decisions, pols? How about going to your pals that you rewarded with do-nothing gov’t jobs for their campaign contributions and tell them it’s better for the taxpayers if THOSE jobs were eliminated? How about that O’Malley sychophant Ulman goes to the boy governor and says that HoCo can’t afford to give high paying jobs to his pals, i.e. Peter Bielensen? How about eliminating the office of Consumer Affairs, because their efforts are duplicated by state and federal agencies as well as trade associations; How about fixing roads that actually need to be fixed instead of generating lucrative contracts for campaign donors? How about using police for law enforcement instead of revenue raising? (perhaps we can stop sending officers to their deaths in the name of increased revenues) I have many many more, but I’m sure the gov’t can’t handle my common sense and logic…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: