GOP candidates promise to fight to retain cap on local taxes

October 26, 1994|By Tom Bowman | Tom Bowman,Sun Staff Writer

Twenty-two GOP candidates, ranging from county to statewide hopefuls, promised the Anne Arundel Taxpayers Association to oppose any attempt to overturn the county's property tax cap or increase the piggyback tax, the amount of income tax the county collects.

The candidates, including John G. Gary, the association's choice for county executive, signed an anti-tax pledge for the group during a ceremony in front of the State House in Annapolis.

"This campaign . . . is about how you want your money spent over the next four years," said Mr. Gary, who is running against Democrat Theodore J. Sophocleus.

The piggyback tax, which is based on state income tax rates, became an issue after Ellen R. Sauerbrey, the Republican candidate for governor, promised to cut state income tax rates by 24 percent over four years. Local budget analysts fear those cuts would sharply reduce the amount the counties can collect.

Those who signed the taxpayers association pledge include: Mrs. Sauerbrey, U.S. Senate candidate Bill Brock, state Senate candidates, Mary Rose and C. Edward Middlebrooks, House of Delegate candidates; Doug Arnold, John R. Leopold, James R. Rzepkowski, Ralph C. Rosaker, Victoria Schade, Joan Beck and Gerald Starr, County Council candidates Diane R. Evans, Carl G. "Dutch" Holland, Bert L. Rice and William H. Mulford.

In addition to opposing tax increases, pledge signers supported term limits for elected officials.

Meanwhile, Robert Schaeffer, the association president, said that the group's survey of 100 county residents found that "people think crime is the biggest problem."

Many respondents said the judicial system is "in total disarray" and has "let the police down repeatedly," he said.

The survey's results show that county government should limit spending and stress "basic services," such as police and fire protection, trash collection and libraries, said Mr. Schaeffer.

Ninety percent of respondents also favor an elected school board and a specific, detailed line-item budget, he said.

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