Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor

March 16, 2003

Robey, council must face economic reality

Howard County Executive James N. Robey tells us "Spending requests are almost $50.25 million more than our anticipated revenue" ("Tax increases seem likely in budget crunch," March 9), not counting more rumored state budget cuts. That translates into "potentially big increases in both local income taxes and county property taxes." It also showcases the lunacy that is Howard County public administration.

What Mr. Robey and the County Council first need to do is make many tough choices as budget requests apparently spiraled out of control. How witless are County Council members who profess surprise at the amounts involved?

The answer is not in Annapolis, either - it's in reforming the profligate spending habits Howard County has pursued for decades, under both political parties. For years the County banked on its high growth rate to finance itself. Those days are gone.

Raising taxes in Howard County makes residence less affordable for anyone not subsidized. I just got my property reassessment, as have many others. I have no interest in a double property tax increase or an increased income tax. Absolutely not - not after the affordable-living crybabies killed the transfer tax increase, which made eminent sense.

Time to pick some other pockets to support all these ever-expanding public services.

It isn't easy governing when the money well runs dry. During the recent drought I couldn't wash my car or water my lawn. The Howard County Council should take the same approach to its spending. As there's a financial drought here, stop the spending increases, conserve, and consider real cuts. Otherwise, I predict another "Throw Out The Bums" election soon.

Brian G. Boettcher

Columbia

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