Voters' right to set local property taxes must be respected

March 17, 2012

The budget package passed by the Maryland state Senate has many good elements -- investments in local schools, a cap on tuition hikes at public colleges, more money for road repairs and cuts in nonessential spending.

However, it also includes a provision making it easier for county councils to override voter-imposed property tax limits. Five counties — Prince George's, Montgomery, Anne Arundel, Talbot, and Wicomico — currently have such limits.

Whether or not you think your local property tax rate is high enough to support good schools, we should all be able to agree that the voters' will ought to be respected.

I offered an amendment on the Senate floor to strike this antidemocratic proposal. I have fought for more than two decades to increase state investment in education — and to project ordinary citizens' right to control their property taxes.

Unfortunately, my amendment to protect local taxpayers' rights failed. Now it's up to the House of Delegates to stand up for the basic American principle of democracy and kill the override of local tax caps.

Jim Rosapepe

The writer, a Democrat, represents Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties in the Maryland Senate.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.