The following letter is from Morita Bruce:
It’s no surprise that a financial analyst would be excited about Harford’s new TIF bond. It’s a good deal for investors, for the developer, and for the people who buy houses in Beechtree Estates. But there’s no free lunch, and Beechtree’s lunch will be paid for by Harford taxpayers.
In effect, this bill subsidizes every house in Beechtree by $18,000 and pays for it by diverting tax money away from the County treasury and into the hands of the TIF bond owners. I’d sure like it if my real estate taxes went to pay off my mortgage instead of going to the County’s treasury, but I don’t live in Beechtree. Instead, I’m going to be paying more taxes because Harford has given away Beechtree taxes.
Nor are we talking chump change. At a very conservative estimate of $3,000 per house, 768 houses would have provided $2,300,000 per year to Harford. That income is gone. And it’s not being used for projects that benefit the County as a whole. It’s going to build Beechtree itself and to relieve the impacts that Beechtree will have outside it’s boundaries.
This bill is very anti-competitive. Current homeowners don’t benefit, and it hurts them if they want to sell their home. New, unsold housing is now at a competitive disadvantage because they have no TIF subsidy. Even other new developments face unfair competition unless they, too, get a government TIF handout subsidized by us taxpayers.
“BRAC is coming” is a poor reason to support fiscally unfair and unsound decisions. Furthermore, I refuse to put my head in the sand….. I distrust what you “professionals” will do to the part that’s above the sand.
Morita Bruce, fiscal conservative