From Roy Whiteley, Founder, Marylanders for Fair Property Taxation:
The 2014 General Assembly session is over. Another wasted 90 days where O’Malley, Busch, Miller, and the democratically controlled General Assembly and its dictatorial committees gave the overburdened property taxpayers absolutely nothing. Once again, the Committees have failed to recognize the failed bureaucracy of the Department of Assessments and Taxation and denied aid to two million property taxpayers by defeating the two bills submitted on the taxpayers’ behalf by our Harford County Senator Barry Glassman. Although we presented numerous facts backed by many articles from various print media confirming quotes by the SDAT Director who freely admitted to many “assessment errors and discrepancies”, the General Assembly Committees chose to ignore these facts along with millions of property tax dollars being wasted, misappropriated, and misapplied. A summary of our issues we supported for ALL Maryland property taxpayers follows.
SB 634 = HB 1041 Internet Access to Worksheets – Sponsors Senator Barry Glassman; Delegate Susan McComas; Cosponsors Afzali, McDonough, and Stocksdale
SDAT and their lobbyist paid with your taxpayer dollars were so confident of defeating the bills that they did not even testify. They know the average taxpayer just does not care and that is borne out by the fact that little written and no verbal testimony was offered in support of the bills. Hence, they were doomed for defeat. Harford County Executive David Craig (Our Choice for Governor) and Harford County Council President Billy Boniface submitted written supportive testimony. Only Senators Colburn, Edwards, and Getty voted favorably for the bill in committee. Chairman Hixson allowed no vote to be taken by the Ways and Means Committee. DEMOCRACY AT ITS FINEST!!!!
SB 553 Task Force to Review Property Assessment and Appeals System – Sponsor Senator Barry Glassman Only Senator Getty voted favorably in the committee vote.
SDAT and their lobbyist paid with your taxpayer dollars were again so confident of defeating the bill that they did not even testify. Under the freedom of information act, we have requested explanations of the fiscal and policy analysis of each of the bills. Some of the data is so egregious we wonder how they have the audacity to publish it.
Unfortunately, we got what we deserved — NOTHING?? We say that because we property taxpayers obviously do not care enough about any of these issues to support them. It is hard for us to fathom that the majority of property taxpayers are so well off, or so satisfied to be fleeced by an agency that openly admits it has problems allowing millions of dollars in homestead credits to be falsely obtained, to have millions of dollars in reduced assessments granted to high rollers, to have millions of dollars of erroronous assessments to exist because their staff is ill equipped to perform the work the law mandates they are to do to make assessments uniform, fair, and equal to fair market value or to correct assessments that an independent firm randomly evaluated and found over one third of them to be over or under assessed by 20 to 50 percent.?? Mainly we are just too apathetic to care or to take the time to contact those who supposedly represent us. You surely must realize we do not send legislators to Annapolis and ask them to do our bidding without letting them know how we want them to act. It is called INTERACTION and we need to do more of it??
Whether you agree or disagree with any of the positions or actions defined herein, we urge you to express your views in November when you VOTE.
REMEMBER THOSE WHO HELPED AND THOSE WHO IGNORED THE PROPERTY TAXPAYER. IT IS OUR DUTY TO DO SO. LET’S ALL DO IT!!!!
Remember Nothing Happens Unless We Make it Happen??
Roy Whiteley, Founder