From Roy Whiteley, Marylanders for Fair Property Taxation:
The 2010 Maryland legislative session is just about over. Again this year, we taxpayers sent about 200 elected officials to the General Assembly to represent us and conduct the State’s business in the best interests of the majority of taxpaying residents of this state. Approximately 2500 bills were introduced, of which, at the time of this writing, 46 had actually been passed. We know we do not need 2500 new laws on our books but we also know that just as was the law in the Roman days that if our elected representatives really did the job we elect them to do we could get a few needed, necessary, appropriate bills passed. Perhaps we need to re-institute Roman law and when a bill is introduced, does not have the ability to become law, the legislator who introduced the failed bill is hung by his thumbs. Might promote some more thought!!! Maybe even get some much needed legislation passed.
We spend millions of dollars sending these people to Annapolis to REPRESENT US BUT IN ESSENCE GET VERY LITTLE FROM THEM. IT IS TIME TO CLEAN HOUSE. The voice of the taxpaying public has again been completely ignored as none of the bills regarding property tax reform ever came out of committee. Committees should be limited to reviewing bills for merit, constitutionality, completeness, public value and interest and passed on to the respective house with a recommendation for or against the bill with appropriate comments. All of the respective assembly members we elect should then act upon the measures. THAT IS THE TRUE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS?? In the infinite wisdom of Senator Currie, Chairman Budget and Taxation Committee and Delegate Hixson, Chairman Ways and Means Committee those bills of specific interest to all property taxpayers for the sixth year were again shoved in the drawer never to see the light of day. We suggest you write and e-mail these committee members as well as your individual Senators and Delegates to ask why they did not do more to bring these bills to the floor where ALL of the representatives we elect could act upon them. Perhaps you will get a better response than we received last year when we asked for an explanation of the inaction and Senator Currie mistakenly sent us an e-mail intended for others but which read “Should we answer this?” We responded with a resounding “yes” but still received no answer.
We think the folks in Baltimore City, Prince George’s, and Montgomery County where most of the committee members reside should take a hard look at these elected representatives, see what if anything they did for us this year and then VOTE accordingly in November. It is hard for us to understand how the taxpayers in Baltimore City, Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties who have the largest number of property assessment appeals have failed to support these measures as the taxpayers of Harford County and the Eastern Shore have done. What are you thinking? What are you waiting for?
SB 190 = HB 658 Seniors Tax Relief Act – allowed deduction for additional exemptions under MD. income tax for individuals.
SB 409 = HB 538 Property Tax- Annual Assessment – changes the three year assessment period to an annual assessment.
SB 458 = HB 204 – Task Force Property Assessment and Appeals reform bill – review the current assessment system, evaluate its effectiveness, study alternative methods of creating assessments which would result in fair, uniform, and equitable assessments commensurate with current market values.
SB 712 Maryland Taxpayer Protection Act – a new section to the Maryland Constitution requiring three-fifths of the members of each House of the General assembly to pass legislation to increase the rate of an existing tax or to impose a new
tax on an individual or entity.
SB 724 Property Owners Bill of Rights – codifies rights for property taxpayers to receive educational assessment meetings, to record hearings, minimum of 90 minutes for hearing, extends time to appeal to 180 days, requires physical inspection of appealed property, requires more data to be furnished by SDAT to document value, and allows a change of hearing venue.
For full text and how your representative voted on any of these bills — See www.mlis.state.md.us.
Contact the members of the Ways and Means Committee — e-mail addresses are all in this format followed by @house.state.md.us:
Contact the members of the Budget and Taxation Committee —- e-mail addresses are all in this format followed by @senate.state.md.us
Let them know how you feel. Let them know we will be letting them know how we feel in November.
Remember, Nothing Happens Unless We Make It Happen!!!!!