Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

February 08, 2004

Forget transfer tax; reallocate funding

Although the [real estate] transfer tax is on hold for this year, I am sure it will be back to haunt us. In the meantime, the citizens of Carroll County might consider the following:

Instead of lumping the three "beneficiaries" of the transfer tax (fire/EMS, sheriff, and Department of Education), each entity should be funded separately.

Do we need a Tregoning Gestapo to curb the motorists who go 5 miles over the 25 mph speed limit on a seldom-traveled road? Is there an out-of-control crime wave terrorizing Carroll County?

The Department of Education has ample - indeed excessive - funding already. If a $224 million operating budget for the coming school year isn't enough, then the transfer tax isn't the answer. (The $224 million doesn't include the Department of Education capital budget.)

If the county commissioners were seriously looking for funding for the fire stations and EMS, they could transfer the monies they allocated for administrators in the Department of Education budget for membership dues, subscription fees, food and travel expenses, and convention costs and let the administrators pay for these items themselves.

William Bowen Jr.

Westminster

Resident troopers meet county needs

For this year the transfer tax is on hold, thanks to the wisdom of our Annapolis delegation - but I suspect it will be back.

I believe our three commissioners and the chief of staff, Steve Powell, were deceiving the taxpayers of Carroll County.

When Donald Dell was a county commissioner, he looked into the creation of a countywide police force. He found that such a program would cost the taxpayers more than the resident trooper program - about $39.9 million at that time. Although the cost of the current resident trooper program has increased, it is my opinion that the current program is still a bargain.

I would prefer the resident trooper program be enlarged and the cost offset by reducing the duties of the Sheriff's Department to serving summons and similar duties.

I realize that things change over time - and I have witnessed changes in Carroll County in my lifetime - but at this time I'm not aware of any massive crime wave or other disturbances to the peace that the resident trooper program can't handle.

William A. Hurlock

Westminster

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