The president of the Crofton Civic Association has appointed a committee of residents to review a University of Maryland report that saysthe community would get a financial windfall by incorporating into acity or town.
In a letter to the seven residents, Ed Dosek said the "focus group" should apprise the board of directors "of just what the report means for the future governance of our community.
"We seek recommendations on the next step in the promotion of citizen awareness of possibilities and potential, as well as the drawbacks to local self-government as you perceive them. Your guidance and counsel is needed by the board to enhance the credibility of our decisions on these important matters."
The first meeting is scheduled for tonight at Town Hall. Committee members will be given copies of the report and will choose a chairman.
The committee includes long-time residents and community activists, including Richard Silverman, president of the Crofton Athletic Council.
"I think it is very important to get citizen input," said committee member Dave Espie, who has lived in Crofton for 27 years, helped organize the civic association and was its first president.
Espie said community leaders have thought about changing their form of government since Crofton's inception. "This issue has been, if not on the front burner, on the back burner, for some time."
The report, completed by the Institute of Governmental Affairs at the University of Maryland at College Park, found that the community of 10,000 residents would be eligible to receive at least $700,000 from its share of the state income tax as an incorporated city or town. The community could get an additional $100,000from other state and local revenue, including the amusement tax and state grants by incorporating.
Such a windfall would allow the special taxing district to nearly eliminate its property tax, currently 29 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, and still bring in more than $800,000 in revenue. Crofton's current budget is $550,000.
Since the extra money would come from county coffers, many residentshave questioned whether Anne Arundel officials would support incorporation, especially in an era of drastic cuts in state aide to localities.
The report assumes Crofton would not offer any more services as an incorporated municipality than it does now as a tax district.
The authors of the report recommended that Crofton offer the countyquid pro quo by taking on additional responsibilities to save money.Dosek has suggested such things as taking over parks and recreation and contracting out for trash pickup and street cleaning.
But Crofton board members plan to schedule public hearings and listen to whatthe seven-member task force committee has to say before taking a position on incorporation, Dosek said.