Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

The fiscal state of Howard County depends on a few very weathy tax payers?

Posted by Ed C on Monday, December 31, 2007

Did anyone tell Martin O’Malley, Mike Miller, Mike Busch and the rest of the Democrats in the General Assembly before their special session this little fact from Howard County Budget Director Raymond S. Wacks (from the Baltimore Sun, Robey urges Ulman to alter state’s view of county finances):

The county can count on a steady 5 percent to 6 percent annual increase in property tax revenues based on growing home values, but Wacks said income tax receipts can fluctuate, especially if a relatively few very wealthy taxpayers change or delay their payments. [emphasis added]

Really. With new tax increases about to go into effect in less than 24 hours, especially the ones that target those very same wealthy taxpayers, did anyone think it could have a negative effect?

Well, at least Sen. Allan Kittleman and Del. Gail Bates get it:

“Big-money people are leaving to go to Florida,” Kittleman said, explaining that several constituents have told him that they live in Florida part time and might convert to full-time residents.

Bates said the owner of a computer services company told her of doing something similar, if the General Assembly leaves that portion of the sales tax intact.

I though tax cuts “cost money” and raising taxes “made money”? Is Mr. Wacks contradicting the Democratic Party wisdom? Besides, how can the tax receipts from a relatively few taxpayers effect the county to any extent? I’ve could have sworn that I’ve heard elected officials state that the wealthy don’t pay their fair share of taxes.

Mr Robey’s implication that Gov. O’Malley and the state of Maryland will probably reward the fiscally irresponsible Montgomery County (with a projected 70 million dollar deficit by June 30th) will have to be (hopefully) another post.

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2 Responses to “The fiscal state of Howard County depends on a few very weathy tax payers?”

  1. Freemarket said

    Whether or not a tax cut or tax increases generates additional tax revenue depends on where you are on the Laffer Curve. The transaction costs of moving are so high, I suspect those threatening to move are just posturing, or have other incentives to move as well. You’d have to be pretty naïve to think that a significant number of people will move over these tax increases. That said, I think these tax increases are a bunch of crap and government services are way too high.

    And of course, the government is paid for by the rich- and there is plenty of data to support that. One anecdotal piece of data is from Mr. Whacks himself, from when he worked at the city, was that how the city was doing financially was dependent on how Peter Angelos was doing financially.

  2. Freemarket said

    Whether or not a tax cut or tax increases generates additional tax revenue depends on where you are on the Laffer Curve. The transaction costs of moving are so high, I suspect those threatening to move are just posturing, or have other incentives to move as well. You’d have to be pretty naïve to think that a significant number of people will move over these tax increases. That said, I think these tax increases are a bunch of crap and government services are way too high.

    And of course, the government is paid for by the rich- and there is plenty of data to support that. One anecdotal piece of data is from Mr. Whacks himself, from when he worked at the city, was that how the city was doing financially was dependent on how Peter Angelos was doing financially.

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