In November, the majority of Maryland voters chose the candidate offering lower taxes and reduced government spending over the candidate representing higher taxes and undisclosed increased budget deficits caused by out of control spending.
Prince George's County voters, on the other hand, voted for incumbents with a history of raising taxes, and for new candidates supported by those incumbents and their machines. Price George's voters essentially blessed the last eight years of over 40 tax and fee increases, increased spending, and ever-growing out of control "structural" deficits.
So, although the financial winds may be starting to blow the other way for most of Maryland, Prince George's voters my get what they voted for. The new General Assembly session has barely started, but Prince George's legislators are moving right ahead with more taxes and deficit spending. Just a sampling:
A bill (PG 413-15) with a misleading title, proposed by Delegates Walker and Washington, would create a new county sales tax. This would be on top of the 20% increase in the state sales tax passed by the General Assembly just a few years ago.
Although the sponsors claim that the proceeds would be used for education, we all know from past experience that such promises mean little. We heard the same kind of promise about the lottery, but much of that revenue we to subsidize stadiums for sports moguls, not for education.
Adding such a tax for just the county would help drive businesses and customers out of the county to surrounding, less greedy, better governed jurisdictions. It would be the exact opposite of what we need for increased economic development or for the "high-end" businesses that our elected officials falsely claim to support.
Over the years there have been numerous media reports that Prince George's resident bear the heaviest or second heaviest individual tax burden s in the state or the region. Apparently Delegates Walker and Washington are not satisfied and want to gouge even more out of us.
The bag tax is back--or will it be a ban?
One bill (PG 415-15) by Senator Pinsky, that keeps rearing its ugly head would provide for a 5 cent tax on grocery bags. The tax is simple, but what it would cover is not. The wording is convoluted and discriminatory.
Another bill (PG 403-15) by Delegate Walker, would ban bags rather than tax them.
In both cases, these elected officials seem to have an animosity toward just one kind of business and would arbitrarily and capriciously tax or ban their bags while excepting identical and similar bags used by most other businesses.
And on the spending side:
Senators Miller and Peters and Delegate Walker are back with a bill (PG 407-15) to require artificial turf for school athletic fields. The will be an unfunded mandate forced on the county without funding, and it is just one of several bills proposed to micro-manage county schools (more about that in another message).
There is a bill (MCPG 108-15) to increase the salary of WSSC members by over two-thirds.
There is a bill (PG 307-15) to increase the salaries of Prince George's alcoholic beverage license commissioners.
And we still haven't seen the usual plethora of "bond bills" (outright pork) or bills to establish new agencies or task forces to do what someone else should already be doing.