Not A Good Idea

“It appears the fewer cases that the revenue officers have assigned to them, the less work they do,” McKean told the six supervisors. “Where are you as managers? What are you doing and is it effective? The revenue officers that are performing above a satisfactory level will be rewarded, and the ones that are not will be documented with corrective action taken. You will be evaluated on your accomplishments or lack of accomplishments. Need I say more?”
–Memo from an IRS manager.

We’ve written approvingly of Peter Franchot and his efforts to bring decorum and a degree of commonsense to an O’Malley regime which has stuffed us into a handbasket and seems intent on merrily proceeding to its ultimate destination.

Now it is becoming apparent that while Franchot might have a superior sense of propriety to the current resident of the governor’s mansion, he has no better grasp on the impact of his policies.

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said yesterday that the state could collect $200 million over four years by bolstering efforts to audit individuals and businesses that violate state tax laws.

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Franchot, who held news conferences Thursday in Baltimore and Silver Spring to speak out against proposals to legalize slot machine gambling, said his plan includes doubling the number of corporate auditors.

Bureaucrats, like any other work force, tend to respond to stimuli. If you double the number of auditors with a goal of collecting $50 million a year, then you can bet that $50 million will appear as a quota, formal or informal, at some point. If not, questions will be asked as to why not.

We’ve had this experience with the IRS as well as with police in Baltimore and Baltimore County. Imposing monetary quotas on people who can take your money or put you in jail rarely works to the benefit of the public.

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