Harford County Councilman Dion Guthrie (District A) plans to introduce a bill to eliminate the impact fee on new home sales at the council meeting October 7, 2008. Guthrie said he has support at this time from Councilman Chad Shrodes (District D) and Councilwoman Mary Ann Lisanti (District F).
Guthrie told The Dagger he had not supported the impact fee when it was first enacted by the Council in 2005, saying it was “an unfair tax because it only taxes new homes and not used homes.” Guthrie noted that families moving into existing homes also impact schools and other infrastructure, which the impact fee was designed to offset.
Guthrie said he is introducing the measure now because the “mortgage catastrophe” has required larger down payments from new home buyers and has “stymied new home sales” in the county. His intention is to boost new home sales and therefore the tax base, calling the effort an “economic stimulus for people who live in the community”.
Asked about the loss of funds to county coffers if the impact fee is eliminated, Guthrie said he would prefer to increase the 1% transfer tax currently charged on the sale of existing homes to a rate of 1.5%. Such an increase would require enabling legislation from the county delegation which has resisted previous requests from the Council.
County revenue from the transfer tax is split between school construction and agricultural preservation. Guthrie said those funds have deteriorated with the slowdown in the housing market said he anticipates County Executive David Craig will request a fund transfer into the ag preservation program at the October 7 meeting, which Guthrie said would not be well-received by some on the Council.
With a glut of homes for sale, he wants to make it easier to build more? Why not lower transfer and recording taxes and help current residents.
That impact fee money goes towards roads, schools fire dept. etc. Why should we let our community also suffer because of people making fooling mistakes!
For years, the builders made a fortune off our community and can efford to pay the taxes. So many people got greedy and wanted more and the banks were giving it to them but it is nobodys fault but their own. Bigger and better houses, new cars,plasma tvs and numerous game systems! Our society needs to wake up and buy only what they can afford, its common sense. So now we should not charge the builders their impact tax???? Who is going to pay for all of the work that needs to be done to our kids schools? I guess we could always go the Democratic way and tax the people in Harford County even more. Or we could just let it all go and let our kids continue to go to old disgusting schools! North Harford Middle School can really use some funds from the impact fee. Not only is it old with chipping paint, mold, lack of AC and bats flying around, it is plain dirty!!!! But than again, most builders have plenty of money to send their kids to private school, so dont see that, right? Same with our councilmen and senators. The poor builders!!!!!!!
vietnam vet says
F your saying. North harford middle school is dirty ? any thing in particular ? or just a random suggestion. I was over at north harford high. just the other day. very nice.
Roye- williams elementary has some issue’s. as far as cleaning issue’s. not uncommon to find the grass standing (8) to (10) inches high.
As too mold & chipping paint that should be and immediate repair. somebody is not doing there job.
It is the job of the chief custodian to repair or report these matter’s to the principal
Great first part of your post, F. You fall off at the end though… no one on our council really has any money. They’re not starving but they are mostly either retired or getting buy. Most of them actually use their council salaries for sustenance. Pretty much all of our delegates and senators still work their 9-5 jobs. Mary Dulaney James is the only one with kids in private school I know of…
Folks, Dion is just a union hack. “To each according to his need, from each according to his abilities.” Workers unite!” Steal from the rich, give to the poor. Guys like him are so completely out of touch with real world finance and that wealth only comes from sales of goods or services. His answer is use government money. Please remember that the government doesn’t have any money, it has to confiscate ours!
Yep, the folk bought too much and more than they could afford, so the gummint can get em out of it. Remember, it’s for the chilluns!
The fiscal reality of this county is that the needs exceed the income. There is a need for taxes in order to maintain schools, roads, safety personnel, public services, etc.
There is a need to replace and even increase the income from Dion’s proposal to eliminate the impact fee. Some students and teachers work in school buildings with conditions that their parents would not tolerate at their own place of employment. Taxes are a necessary part of a civilized society, like it or not. Personally, I have no problems paying for schools – my children are my future and taxes are a patriot duty if you truly care about your community.
I'm There says
Gold vs. Paper
I’ve read where paper money equates to a mortgage on wealth that doesn’t exist.
Whatever happened to Gold? Let’s get back to basics and look at today’s stockmarket, gold and silver are shining these days.
My father was a custodian in a high school on long Island. For 300 a week he did his share of sweeping hallways and classes…painting…repairs. The school also had a chief custodian and a fireman (boiler operator). The chief custodian was in charge of supervising repairs and the fireman was responsible for heat. They also had duty’s for cleaning daily. The staff was , if I remember correctly, about 7 guys….oh…they also cut the grass….it was never to tall. The hedges were trimmed also.
I don’t understand dirty schools…..peeling paint.
Go Dagger !
Delegate Dan Riley says
Roughly, a little over a year ago, Councilman Guthrie made the same pitch to members of the Harford County Delegation. He wanted to eliminate the impact fees and increase other fees. He wanted to raise the transfer fee (tax). Same proposal, just different packaging. Today’s housing slump is national and is the result of national banking policy failures not local impact fees. I could use the pig and the lipstick analogy here but it has been a bit overused.
In this time of economic uncertainty, taxes under any guise, should not be increased.
Although Councilman Guthrie’s idea does have some merit, I hesitate to eliminate any fee/tax currently in place while we currently have so much school construction taking place. There are currently 2 high schools undergoing major rebuilds/renovation, and plans for 2 new elementary schools and more. The impact fee helps fund these vital construction projections. It would be prudent to retain the impact fee until other sources of revenue are confirmed.
RichieC – I grew up and went to school on Long Island. I never went to or visited any school that looks like North Harford Middle. Currently they are doing some repairs on the school but it is still gross. I would not even invite my family last year to come watch my son play basketball there b/c I was too embarrassed! Check it out some time!
f … Ill take your word.