From Roy Whiteley, Founder, Marylanders for Fair Property Taxation:
Response to “What Answer Will We Get?”
On March 23 and 26, under the Freedom of Information Act, we requested explanations and answers to a number of questions prompted by the incredulous fiscal and policy reports filed on behalf of the Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) in opposition to these two bills: SB553/HB1041 Internet Access to Worksheets and SB 634 Task Force to Review Tax Assessment Procedures and the Tax Appeals Process. Copies of our transmissions were sent to all on our mailing list but most of you probably discarded or deleted the information. However, several interested parties like Delegate Neil Parrott and Delegate candidate Mary Ann Lisanti responded to us asking for follow up information. Well, attached is the unbelievable response from the Attorney General’s office. READ IT AND WEEP!!!!!
We do not claim to have been an Audie Murphy but we did serve our country during WWII and Korea thinking we were doing our part to preserve a democracy. Instead, we are more and more seeing a socialist and dictatorial government hell bent on destroying what we thought were the rights we served for. Every day we are seeing less and less leadership, transparency, and accountability. READ THIS GOOBLEDEGOOK LETTER AND TELL US YOU ACCEPT ITS MESSAGE.
We are not lawyers, but carefully read the second paragraph, particularly the second sentence, and please explain to us how a printed fiscal policy available on line and filed in print at two public hearings in opposition to these bills before the Budget and Taxation Committee composed of 13 or 31% of the elected Senators of the Maryland General Assembly and before the Ways and Means Committee composed of 22 or 16% of the elected Delegates of the Maryland General Assembly are not “documentary material that is made by or received by an agency in connection with the transaction of public business?” In addition to us being at said hearings, there were also hundreds of taxpaying citizens waiting to hear or present their own hearings. Does their presence not count as public participation placing these documents in public domain i.e. therefore public records or documents? WHY ARE WE DENIED ANSWERS TO THESE PUBLIC RECORDS????
Even though most of our 188 General Assembly members probably never read our original requests, we are asking them and especially our Harford County Delegation members to stand up now for ALL of Maryland’s beleaguered property taxpayers by demanding transparency and accountability. Get us the answers we are entitled to and deserve to see!!!!
Please contact your representatives to get answers to our questions, even the stupid ones like “How did SDAT hear and clear 117% of the number of appeals cases filed??? Or “How does SDAT figure it would take over one million dollars to make existing computerized worksheets available on an existing computerized web site using the same data base with an in-place search engine?”
And just think, this same Attorney General wants to be our next governor with staff members like this responder!!!
Remember Nothing Happens Unless We Make It Happen!!!!
Roy Whiteley, Founder