Leopold’s at it again
Look, John Leopold has found another way to want to bilk more money out of taxpayers:
County Executive John R. Leopold wants the state to lift the cap on license fees for food establishments so the cost of inspections and regulation are fully covered.
Under current law, local governments must license, inspect and regulate food establishments. Outside of Baltimore City, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County, jurisdictions can only charge a maximum fee of $300 – regardless of the annual cost of doing business.
Anne Arundel County is losing about $225,000 a year by having the cap, said Sen. John Astle, D-Annapolis, who presented the bill to the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday.
“This is simply a bill that … would allow them essentially to break even on this essential service,” Mr. Astle said.
Of course, ultimately it is going to be the consumer and the business owner that is going to pay for the cost of this hike in fees. What’s even more disturbing is the fact that Leopold supports removing the cap completely; not just raising the cap. So what would Leopold’s ultimate license fee be? Who knows, but you as a taxpayer will wind up footing the bill.
What’s even crazier is that even Liberal Democrats are starting to criticize Leopold’s anti-business approach:
By itself, the proposal sounds reasonable, said Del. Pamela Beidle, D-Linthicum, a former member of the county council.
But the wider economic picture also has to be considered, she said, including the impact on businesses from November’s special session, where the General Assembly raised the sales tax and corporate income taxes.
Couple that with other initiatives from Mr. Leopold – such as a desire to significantly raise impact fees – and the business climate in Anne Arundel County could suffer with each new fee hike, Ms. Beidle said.
When you are a Republican and a liberal like Pam Beidle is criticizing your ability to provide a friendly business climate, then you are seriously in the wrong.
It’s hard to take John Leopold seriously as a County Executive. His job performance in office resembles that of the performance of Janet Owens more and more each day. That’s how far off the conservative reservation Leopold has strayed…