At the end of the day, taxpayers still lose

It’s not a good time to be in Anne Arundel County when the “Republican” County Executive and the Republican County Council are arguing just how they should bilk taxpayers:

The Anne Arundel County Council has offered a counterproposal to a massive set of increases to impact fees on new development proposed by County Executive John R. Leopold: raise the transfer tax rate to generate millions of dollars toward school construction and maintenance and reversing the effects of storm-water runoff.

On Monday, the Republican-majority council unanimously agreed to support a resolution that seeks state-enabling legislation to raise the transfer tax on property sales from 1 percent to as high as 1.5 percent. The resolution’s sponsor, Republican C. Edward Middlebrooks, said the initiative could raise $25 million a year for the building and repairing of schools and restoring of streams. He estimated that about $18 million would go toward schools and $7 million toward cleaning up watersheds and waterways damaged by runoff.

Either way, taxpayers lose. Taxpayers will either foot the bill indirectly through higher prices on property or higher prices for services and business, or the taxpayers will pay the bill directly through the higher impact fees. Whichever side wins, it is going to drive the cost of living in Anne Arundel County up in times of financial uncertainty. Not a win-win strategy. It’s not good when the Republican County Executive and County Council are acting like our Democratic Governor and General Assembly. You can barely tell the difference when both groups want to eschew reduced spending and go straight for raising taxes on an already distressed electorate.

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