Pittman Again Floating Higher Taxes on Working Families

Last year I noted how Anne Arundel County Executive and wealthy horseman Steuart Pittman promised during his campaign that there was no need to raise taxes. And he lied, by raising taxes and finding new and creative ways to circumvent Anne Arundel County’s tax cap.

Now, a year later, Pittman’s already pondering raising taxes even more.

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman said he hasn’t ruled out raising taxes again to meet the needs of the county after hosting five budget town halls over the past three weeks.

Among the priorities, residents have advocated for a rugby field in North County; a swim center in West County; sidewalks along Duvall Highway in Pasadena; more resources for Animal Care and Control; and better pay and benefits for school nurses.

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Yes that’s right, there are people in our county who think that a swim center and a rugby field is a priority worth raising taxes for.

Pittman also found time to throw economic realists under the bus for not supporting even more tax hikes:
Pittman said that any elected official who isn’t willing to consider revenue enhancements is not doing their job. Either way, he said, it will be a difficult decision.

“We want people to say ‘don’t raise our taxes’ or ‘do,’” Pittman said. “We want people to tell us how to pay for stuff. (But) I haven’t gotten a lot of feedback on that at the town halls.”

But of course, much like with Pittman’s limp budget tool, Pittman is asking the wrong questions. Pittman keeps wanting to ask voters “how are we going to pay for this” but instead should be asking “why should we be paying for this.”

I have no doubt that there are infrastructure priorities that need to be addressed. I have no doubt that there are job sectors who should get higher pay. But I also have no doubt that there is a lot of fat in the budget and that Pittman has no interest in doing actual work and trying to find that fat and spend responsibly. He’s adopted the Martin O’Malley School of Budget: spend it all and when you run out, tax people to spend more.

Pittman likes to tell people that there is a “method to the madness” of his budget and tax policy. But it’s apparent that the method is to spend taxpayer money like there’s no tomorrow, while the madness is his insistence on screwing middle and working-class families to pay for it through ever-higher taxes.

So much for the guy who held his shoes together with duct tape…

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