Upon catching wind of another “tax revolt” being planned, in conjunction with the Harford County Council meeting in Bel Air Tuesday night, the County Executive’s office launched a counter-offensive this week – ordering pro-budget paraphernalia to be printed and recruiting members of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office to fill the council chambers with support for the budget.
The TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party on Tuesday is being arranged by the same group who organized the effort in Havre de Grace last month. With tax day now in the books, the group is focusing on another little-understood and often incorrectly-attributed tax increase – the constant yield tax rate.
According to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation:
The Constant Yield concept is that, as assessments rise, the tax rate should drop to the point that the revenue derived from the property tax stays at a constant level from one year to the next, thus assuring a “constant yield” from this tax source. The Constant Yield Tax Rate is simply a property tax rate that, when applied to new assessments, will result in the taxing authority receiving the same revenue in the coming taxable year that was produced in the prior taxable year.
This stirs up the debate whether maintaining the constant yield rate can be considered a tax increase. Undoubtedly, the TEA Party group will accuse County Executive David Craig of raising taxes if he does not reduce Harford’s constant yield rate.
Here is the initial email that set the county executive’s office into motion:
Hello Tea Partiers!
The TEA Party is alive and well in Harford County, MD.!
On Tuesday, May 19, 2009, at the County Council office parking lot, at the corner of Rt.22 and Bond Street, in Bel Air, MD, the concerned tax payers of Harford County will let their voices be heard.
The rally will run from 5:30pm-7:00pm and will address citizen concerns about our high Property Taxes and the impact on our lives. We will have guest speakers, music and an open microphone for public comments. The rally’s focus is property taxes in Harford County. The budget being proposed by the County Executive includes increased government revenue when everyone else is tightening their belts. This means you pay higher taxes, while nobody in the County Government has lost their job.
Please visit the Harford Property Tax Revolt Website at www.HarfordPropertyTaxRevolt.com. While there, you are encouraged you make a comment to the Council and Executive via the form. If there are any questions, feel free to email or call at 410-272-0550.
Following the rally, citizens are encouraged to attend the Council meeting and speak to the County officials directly.
If you cannot attend, write or call the Council members and voice your concerns. They work for you! Be the boss! Take A Stand!
Taxed Enough Already,
The county executive’s office is worried enough that it apparently has printed up “Support the Budget” buttons and will be trying to fill the council chambers with supporters to drown out the nay-sayers.
Who will those supporters be?
It looks like none other than the Harford County Sheriff’s Office.
Warned of “a fringe group of citizens that are planning to protest” and pressure the county council to cut the budget by $26 million – which may impact funding for local law enforcement – members of the Sheriff’s Office have been asked to attend the council meeting and show support en masse for the budget.
Harford County Sheriff Jesse Bane has apparently even given permission for sworn members to wear their uniforms as long as they are off duty.
So is the contstant yield tax rate really a tax increase?
Should the county executive’s office really be this worried about protestors?
Who are the musical guests performing during the “revolt?”