Organizers of the well-attended Bel Air and Havre de Grace Tax Day protests are soliciting support for a reduced tax rate in Harford County by way of an email and petition, which have recently been circulating.
A copy was provided to The Dagger:
“Hello! This email is being sent to follow up on the success of our Tea Parties on April 15 in Harford County, at Bel Air and at Havre de Grace! We cannot let the momentum stop here! The tenets that we hold up, for responsible spending and fair taxation, need to be carried out to the highest levels of government, but it starts locally.
Harford County has the third highest Real Property tax rate in the State, second only to Baltimore City and Baltimore County. When we consider the personal property tax, the tax rate is the SECOND highest rate in the state, behind only Baltimore City. Lowering taxes would make it more affordable for people to move to the area, and make businesses (and jobs) more likely to come to Harford County instead of going to Cecil County or Pennsylvania.
The “Constant Yield” rate is the property tax level that would lead to the same level of government revenue as last year. Instead of adopting this rate, the County Government is electing to raise taxes to support additional spending at the County Level.
The Harford County Council and County Executive are holding public hearings next week at C. Milton Wright High School (4/28 @6:30PM) and Joppatowne High School(4/30 @6:30PM), and I would like to arrive with a petition signed by all the Harford County Citizens that are tired of high taxes and high government spending!
Please print the attached petition and have it signed by anyone you know who agrees that taxes should not increase in a down economy.”
To The Harford County Council and County Executive:
We the Citizens of Harford County, in the State of Maryland request the following actions be taken regarding the budgetary policy decisions to be made in the upcoming weeks:
Decrease the tax rate on real property to a rate not to exceed the “constant yield” rate determined by the State of Maryland. This will make owner-occupied and rental homes more affordable for current and potential residents of Harford County.
Decrease the personal property tax in Harford County to 0%. This will spur capital investment and help local business.
Decrease spending in the county such that the Harford County economy is self-sustaining. Rosy forecasts about economic growth with little to no foundation in reality are not useful for policy decisions. Conservatism is the key tenet of forecasting.
Help us do our part in fixing the budget deficit in Maryland. Reduce spending, cut programs, and fire unproductive employees. Efficiency is the key to economic and social growth. Let markets decide where to allocate capital.
At the earliest possible legislative session reduce the Assessment Tax Cap from 9% to 4% in three increments. 2% in 2010, 2% in 2011 and 1% in 2012. Property taxes should not increase faster than the ability of the taxpayer to earn income on an inflation-adjusted basis. When taxes exceed this formula, then they become discriminatory. We should not let property taxes drive our senior citizens on fixed incomes out of this county.
We the Undersigned, Citizens of Harford County, Maryland will no longer stand idly by while government grows at the expense of private citizens and business. We are prepared to support new representatives at all levels of government if you do not implement these requests during the current budgetary cycle. Thank you for your service and concern.
Name Address in Harford County