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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Rushern Baker's tax ripoff makes the Wall Street Journal

Another Tax Increase Legacy From Martin O'Malley; The would-be presidential candidate created a loophole that could be used to bust local property-tax caps.


Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker, who last week proposed hiking his constituents' property taxes by a remarkable 15.6% and boosting spending by 8.2% in the coming fiscal year. Much of the bounty will go to raise teachers' salaries from the current average of $65,000 to about $75,000.

Never mind the county's teachers already are paid 15% more than the U.S. average, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Or that shoveling money at teachers unions mainly delivers their political loyalty rather than educational benefits.

Mr. Baker is betting that county residents will be unable to resist his assurances that this is all "for the children." But we've seen this movie before. In the 1970s the locals went down a similar tax-and-spend road, saw disaster and changed course.



  1. If you read bond ratings from Fitch, S&P and Moody's, the tax limitations of Charter Section 812 (TRIM) and Section 813 (Voter Approval of Taxes) are acknowledged. However, I have been unable to find a bond float where SB848, state legislative authority to raise taxes, is considered or even mentioned. If Mr. Baker had authority since 2012 to bypass these Charter laws and better our bond position, why weren't bond holders/lenders notified, and rating agencies able to consider the revenue security in their rating statements? If the limitations impede our AAA rating as asserted by Mr. Baker, he has had the opportunity since 2012 to let lenders know SB848 existed and pay-off revenue could be raised.

    15% property taxes, telephone, hotel and numerous other taxes without voter approval is projected. 71.21% of voters in 2007 (Question F, CB-012-2007) voted down a small telephone tax increase that a courageous council took to ballot. The precedent exists to take taxes to ballot even though the Attorney General Brian Frosh ignored Question F and the precedent in his Opinion upholding tax increases and bypassing the voters.

    Buy PG Bonds? Think about it. By the way, the growth potential of our county keeps the AAA bond rating; Taking new taxes to ballot would have no affect on ratings..

  2. I made a FOIA of the school system for service information. It should be readily pullable in any accounting system. PG Schools are $1.8 billion business, yet they still can't give me the information requested. Is their accounting system so antiquated or are they stalling until taxes are increases.