To the Editor,

For decades our communities have been forced to live within their means while being ignored and left to fend for ourselves. Now, at a time when jobs return and new community groups put in the hard work, a new county administration taxes the fruits of our labors.

At a time when new homeowners are looking to move closer to their jobs here and help push out our section 8, the county seeks to impose a new tax on those prospective new home buyers when they close on their property.

At a time when thousands of jobs return to the point, the county seeks to raise income taxes by hundreds of dollars per year.

At a time when more people are working and families are keeping in touch via cell phone, the new administration will tax them by 8 percent.

I worked with the County Auditor to identify nearly 50 million in further cuts in order to avoid tax increases. None of these cuts affected basic county services, and all these efforts failed along party lines in a Towson atmosphere that increasingly looks like the same dysfunction as Capitol Hill.

Councilman Quirk’s budget message mentioned the words “non-partisan” or “bipartisan” five times, yet all cuts suggested quickly failed along party lines.

It has been mentioned that this budget is “about education”. BCPS is funded $33 million over what is necessary by law, at a time when roughly 80% of our graduates continue to need remedial math and reading classes in order to qualify for community college, and the STAT laptop program has shown no results yet incurred staggering costs. Blindly throwing more money at BCPS without addressing the real problems is not the answer, this has been proven in Baltimore City.

The county should live within its means and not take advantage of its’ citizens success and hard work. All areas that were identified for cuts that did not affect services were rejected by a partisan Council. New and unnecessary offices were created, and county government was enlarged.

While I voted against every single tax increase, it was for the above reasons that I cast the only vote against the entire budget.

Councilman Todd Crandell, R-6

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