In Presenting Legislative Wish List, Commissioners Inquire About Acquiring Authorization to Levy New Taxes

As the county commissioners prepare for the upcoming session in Annapolis, the new Republican Board of Commissioners met with the state delegation to discuss local government’s legislative needs.  While several things interested the commissioners, such as liquor license regulations and park rules, revenue and budgets were a major concern as they prepare for the upcoming budget cycle and how state actions could help or hinder.

Commissioners Diana Broomell and Tari Moore brought up the subject.  Concerned about financial burdens for the county, Commissioner Moore inquired, “What kind of tools can you help us with to deal with these regulations.”  “We might be interested in new fees,” Commissioner Broomell added, as she inquired about impact fees and excise tax authority for the county.  Later in the evening, a Tea Party leader Ron Lobos, had specifically recognized Commissioner Broomell as as an earlier organizer of the movement in Cecil County and one of its principal supporters.

The delegation had a different philosophy when it comes to giving the county more taxing authority.  “The three delegates and myself are not supportive of impact fees or excise taxes,” Senator Pipkin informed the board.  “It’s not the way to pay for growth.”  “There’s nothing coming to the counties,” Delegate Smigiel added.  “You need to cut government.  New taxes and new revenue sources are not an option.”

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43 responses to “In Presenting Legislative Wish List, Commissioners Inquire About Acquiring Authorization to Levy New Taxes

  1. Raising any taxes or spending in 2011 would be negative for the Cecil County economy. I hope that Commissioners Moore and Broomell reconsider their interest in possible tax increases for the sake of our citizens. I appreciate that our Delegates and Senators are standing on principle and committing to not raise taxes on citizens.

  2. I voted for both Commissioners Broomell and Moore, but that is because I fell for the old candidate line that “it is your money and I will spend it wisely.” As Chairman of the Republican Party, I have a responsibility to this Party to uphold what the Party stands for. I am asking that anyone who voted for these two Commissioners call their offices and demand that they not consider raising our taxes or taxes on business. I also ask that the Cecil County Patriots support me in this endeavor because they supported both of these Commissioners in the last election.

    Here is a suggestion to both of these Commissioners: if you need more revenue at a time when people are unable or barely able to get by day to day–you should do what you were elected to do–cut the size of government, not look for more revenue sources!

    • I have a great idea. We should simply abolish taxes. We could then use that money to provide for ourselves as individuals. We could home school our kids. We could use our own guns to protect ourselves. We could fix our own roads. Better yet, we could stop paying our bills and when our creditors finally cut us off we could declare bankrupcy and be subsidized by the suckers who meet their personal responsibilities and pay higher costs to offset losses caused by us.

    • Mr. Patterson and Mr. Zeauskas: I was present at the meeting between the County Commissioners and the Cecil County Delegation this past Tuesday evening. You were not. Mr. Dixon’s reporting of the meeting was consistent with the Cecil Whig’s – both sources reported that Commissioner Broomell made the statement about being interested in new fees. Commissioner Moore made no such suggestion – and definitely never suggested tax increases.

      It is shameful and irresponsible the way all of you are trying to attach wrongful blame with no facts to back it up. I have to wonder why. ..

      Mr. Zeauskas – didn’t Ms. Moore defeat you in the Primary election for Cecil County Commissioner? I’m doubtful we can trust your objectivity in your criticism of her. Nonetheless, as Cecil County Republican Central Committee Chairperson, surely you are acquainted with some of the values listed on your Central Committee website (www.cecilgop.com):

      WE BELIEVE Americans must retain the principles that have made us strong while developing new and innovative ideas to proactively meet the challenges of changing times.
      WE BELIEVE government must practice fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of the money they earn.

      New and innovative ideas don’t come from doing the same thing over and over again. If nothing changes, Cecil County taxpayers will have to do what they’ve done historically – everyone paying for the burden of necessary infrastructure to support our new residents – which means individuals will NOT be able to keep more of the money they earn.

      These are definitely “changing times” – and there should be nothing wrong with our elected officials asking questions and understanding ALL of the alternatives. As a leader in the local Republican party, I would think you would want to embrace the actions of the current Commissioners to ask questions and seek new solutions.

      Mr. Patterson – impact fees on new development to support the required infrastructure that follows, is very different than “taxes on citizens”. I am not alone in feeling that new development should support financing the required infrastructure.

      In addition, you may want to reconsider some important data that conflicts with your statement that our Delegates and Senators are committed to “not raise taxes on citizens. “

      At the meeting between the Commissioners and Delegation this past Tuesday, all present heard directly that our Delegation (or at least the six members present at the meeting) plan to support the transfer of teacher’s pensions to local government – something the State of Maryland committed to pay for years ago. Depending on the proposal, the Cecil County taxpayer impact is between $4 and $8 million dollars a year. The reality of this means our Delegation is actually FORCING A TAX INCREASE ON THE CITIZENS OF CECIL COUNTY.

      • I was also present at that meeting… It was Delegate Smigel and Senator Pipkin who are proposing dumping their bill on the county taxpapers. Chris Z and Ted P, so glad to see your enthusiasm in speaking out against increased taxes on Cecil County. I look forward to seeing you take a similar stand when the state delegation attempts to pass another unfunded mandate on the citizens of Cecil County in the form of teacher pensions when they were ones who voted for the increase in teacher pensions in 2006, subsequently causing the system to fail.

  3. The Cecil County Patriots have a great track record going. They are responsible for Liberal, Delegate Dave Rudolph’s re-election over the conservative Mr. Patterson and, now the Patriots’ two Republican candidates Commissioners Broomell and Moore want to raise taxes!

    Well Patriots, what are you going to do now? Will you all continue to ignore the ineffectiveness of your leadership? Will you pretend that you are not responsible for your candidates raising our taxes? Will you close your eyes to the facts and hope we don’t notice? You created these taxes, you put these people in office and you can not ignore their actions.

    To paraphrase Mr. Lobo from the other night, the Cecil County Patriot’s new T-Shirts for 2011 should read:

    “Patriot tested-Taxes Approved”

  4. Why don’t the commissioners start by example?

    Cut their compensation (they received a 6.4% increase in 2011 approved budget). Across the board pay, benefits and reimbursement. Ad to that a cut in the Office of Administration (which received a 11.3% increase in the 2011 budget).
    Purchasing Department…17.6% increase.
    Board of Elections…a staggering 72.2% increase.
    What gives here? (possibly weird choice of words)

    or

    Lay off one county commissioner. Based on the majority rule, it would probably be either Hodge or Moore.

    or

    10% pay reduction of every Cecil County Government employee and have them pay 1/2 of their health insurance.

    or

    Ask Pipkin for some of his campaign war chest.

  5. General George Armstrong Custer is back and this time to stay! I’ve been keeping a low profile the past 2 weeks…my boys in the 7th Cavalry and I were out west fighting the Indians.
    You know, after reading all these comments about that Hodge fellow, who belongs up there in New York with those Tammany Hall politicians, and that Mullin fellow who just mulls around all the time, I’ve come to a conclusion:

    G.A. Custer is going to move from Michigan to Cecil County and run for County Commissioner! If that Broomell lady can pull it off, I can too!

    General George Armstrong Custer for County Commissioner!
    Can’t go wrong with Custer running for things, NO SIR!

  6. Chris Zeauskas stated that as the Chairman of the Republican Party he has a responsibility to uphold what the party stands for. I ask him to explain exactly what the Republican party stands for. BTW, I believe that Michael Steele is Chairman of the Republican Party.

  7. Unfortunately, I think the Tea Party ms broomell thought she was organizing would include pretty little cups and saucers, sugar, milk, cookies and party dresses.

    Of course she would support the idea of lower or no taxes for her little party.

    But now, she has this big budgety thingy to deal with. Where oh where can she get some money to give herself a raise? I know…we’ll just tax the little people or doz big, bad entrepreneury guys.

  8. “Charirman Chris” Zeauskas: Read John Abbott’s post. Go to the cited website to learn what your party stands for. Ted Patterson: The commissioners did not state an interest in raising taxes. Should not new constuction pay it’s fair share of infrastructure costs that would fall to current taxpayers? Concerned Citizen/Patterson: You lost. Why don’t you and the other Smipkins begin thinking for yourselves?

    • Conowingo Bridge Tender

      U got to say one thing for them Smipkins. When they say no new taxes they mean it unlike the other politicans who try to sneak a tax in. If U take more of my money that’s a tax. Tea Party patriots round here couldn’t figure it out but I can. Tell them u keep talking about which ones t the true tea party ones now that election is over. That they should have done before election. When they ask to get more money and the tea party says they r their politican that is wrong

      • Have you really been duped by Smigiel and Pipkin’s mantra of “no new taxes”?

        If they are really so committed to that principle, why did they introduce legislation last year that allowed for collective bargaining with binding arbitration for the sheriff deputies?

        As we have seen across the nation, binding arbitration agreements have resulted in union wages and pension packages that are crippling government with their high costs. Costs WE pay for through taxes.

        And we are going to see their hypocrisy in a bigger way in this upcoming session. Smigiel and Pipkin both are in favor of shifting the state-paid portion of teacher’s retirements to the County. “It’s a matter of fairness”, Pipkin was quoted about the issue in the Jan 6th Cecil Whig.

        I fail to see how it is “FAIR” to balance the State’s budget on the back of Cecil County taxpayers. I fail to see how it is “FAIR” to force the County Commissioner to raise our taxes (between $4 and $8 MILLION) to pay for the State’s obligation. I fail to see how it’s “FAIR” to tell the County they have to “cut government” when the State won’t.

        Hold on to your wallet – it’s about to get raided by Smigiel and Pipkin.

        • Make that Pipkin, Smigiel, Mullin, Broomell, and Dunn…The Smipkin team aided by Hodge.

          Moore is iffy.

  9. Sounds like the same gibberish posted by another Smikin (SMIPKIN puppet) from the recent past. Why not just say “SMIPKIN (Smigiel and Pipkin) am gud, all ovvers bad”.

  10. Still waiting for “Chairman Chris” to state what HE thinks Republicans stand for. Patterson apparently either didn’t get or understand what was said.

  11. I was also at the 5:30, January 4th meeting between the delegation and the commissioners and I did not hear Commissioner Moore propose impact fees. Commissioner Broomell did suggest it should be considered and I believe that has been her stand for some time. Now the microphone was not used by everyone and some voices carry better than others, so I may have missed a statement others heard.

    Harford county has impact fees, but a major negative for Harford is that in the past portions of the budget became captive to the estimated amounts that the fees will bring in to the county. Thus when the economy tanked, those estimates become inaccurate and programs developed based on those estimates are seriously impacted. However, impact fees can decrease the desire for consumers to purchase homes in Harford and redirect purchases to Cecil as may now be happening. As of now Cecil having impact fees would probably not serious impact the movement to our county since our costs remain less than Harford. That was true when my family moved to Cecil from Harford in the 1955 and is still true, I believe. But any such monies received would, in my opinion, need to be placed in an emergency fund and not included in the budget.

    Impact fees too often follow the logic of growth pays for growth which is the same logic for sewer connection fees and fees to have a septic system as a consultant has proposed. Again they are a one time fee which infuses the treasury for a period of time but future costs of that growth would not be covered, such as school construction.

    I am on the fence on impact fees since they are not a solution for long term county budgetary concerns and can, as has happen in Harford, give a false sense of future revenues.

  12. I would like to hear specific recommendations from Del. Smigiel and Sen. Pipkin as well as their followers (Smipkins) regarding where Cecil County government expenditures should be cut. Smigiel and Pipkin should spend their time in Annapolis helping Cecil County citizens rather than working to shift costs to us and reduce our ability to fund our operations.

  13. I have to wonder why two officers of the Republican Central Committee (Paterson and Zeauskas) would be attacking two seated Republican County Commissioners for a non-existent tax proposal. I was at the meeting and heard no motion for a tax increase by either Commissioner Broomell or Moore. They both were just asking questions and studying the options. Could it be that they are just throwing mud because Commissioner Moore beat Zeauskus in the primary and Commissioner Broomell beat ROC approved candidate Mike Dawson in the primary. Please stop yelling “Fire” when there is nothing more than freshly fallen snow on the table.

    • I share Joe Carabetta’s dismay at these so-called Republican leaders. Too bad they have no solutions. They are what are known as “useful fools”. The real traitors are Smigiel and Pipkin who only care about re-election.

  14. Why don’t the Smipkins respond to requests for solutions? Perhaps they have none.

  15. If there was a time for political and personal rancor, it was during the election campaign season some months ago. We now have a serious budgetary problem in Cecil County and the estimated 23% loss of state and federal monies in conjunction with the lower property assessments in northwestern Cecil County and the difficulty of serious cutting the large school budget due to state law. To resolve this problem requires the rhetoric to become constructive rather than destruction from all parties.

    We need citizens of all stripes to attend the scheduled budget reviews listed on the different websites and to civilly offer constructive suggestions to the commissioners and the other budget entities’ leadership on what should be cut and prioritized. Remember that the commissioners do NOT have a line item veto over the budgets offered by the school board, the libraries, the sheriff’s office or the college. Each of their budgets must be digested, reviewed, analyzed and changes proposed separately from that portion controlled directly by the commissioners. However citizens can recommend that the commissioners reject the different budgets, as well, if they do not conform to their expectations.

    Shortly the county website will post the overview of the county’s budget and the impacts on it as was presented at the public budget meeting last night, Tuesday January 11th. I hope fellow citizens will be alerted by those who read this my post to the overview to be posted shortly at http://www.ccgov.org.

    Last year some friends tried wading through the budget and found it almost incompressible. With mandates, unfunded mandates, grants with specific requirements, and the like undefined in the budgets, the average person, without having the institutional knowledge of the different staffs, is lost when reviewing the line items.
    Thus armed with that information and my own attempt to determine the programs that receive grants, I have asked the county treasurer to develop a menu of the different mandates and grants, the amounts and percentages that apply to different programs. I asked this of him so that all can see the impact of the different potential and actual reductions in monies from state and federal sources, how they apply to specific programs and agencies and the cost for the county to assume the responsibility for programs that may lose funding. The little I have gleaned on my own initiative has literally shocked me with the knowledge of the number of and type of programs that are funded by state and federal grants.

    This is a time to join in a spirited debate on how our county goes forth, not dwell on what went before.

  16. Al Reasin is to be commended for his hard work in researching county issues. I ask Mr. Reasin if Chris “Chairman of the Republican Party” Zeauskas and Ted “Secretary of the RepublicanParty” Patterson were at the budget hearing on 1/11/2011 and if so did they speak out with any answers to the budget crisis? Their election advertising led voters to believe that they had expertise in “Fiscal” matters. Where are they now? We need them to live up to their campaign advertising and provide some leadership.

    • “Their election advertising led voters to believe that they had expertise in “Fiscal” matters. Where are they now? We need them to live up to their campaign advertising and provide some leadership.”

      How can you even ask someone to step up after you have said stand aside.
      The county voters didn’t want them or their leadership. In business, you wouldn’t ask the person that you did not hire to do the job of the person you did hire…for free and with no authority.

      True, intelligent, and experienced leaders from both parties were defeated by campaign deceit. Cecil County voters did not vote for people who would have hit the ground running and known where they were going. Yes, the election is over. Just look at with what we have to accept. And no, we should not wait for them to learn skills on the job which they lack in the first place.

      Is it possible to fire incompetent employees (commissioners) and replace them with the qualified second choices? We should correct the mistakes as soon as possible and move forward.

  17. Alexis,
    Better yet, I just received notice that the January meeting of the Central Committee has been canceled. It must have been all that heavy snow that fell on Wed! Wait I know, the ” fiscal conservatives” are studying the county budget. Glad we have people like Al Reasin, who is a true conservative, that have stepped forward to take on county issues such as the budget.

  18. Joe,

    I would have made it to the meeting, but I was out trying to raise some money for the Central Committee because the old Central Committee under your leadership left us with 59 dollars in the bank and with 70 discrepancies on our last financial filing with the state. As always you want to act like your working hard for the people and liberty, but at the end of the day your just another government employee! You are right about one thing–we are looking at the budget and all the departments. This includes the department that Mr. Reasin’s wife works for.

  19. Chris,
    Your true [remark edited] are shown through in your latest post. First of all, the previous Republican Central Committee worked hard to earn all the money we raised to elect Republicans to office and we made decisions on how the money was to be spent. We are Republicans, there is no entitlements for incoming Central Committees, just a lot of hard work. In case you haven’t read the papers lately, it was nearly a clean sweep in Cecil County for Republicans, a first for the county. Here is another news flash for you, the errors which you speak of happened before I was chair, had nothing to do with dollar balances and you are not responsible for them. The previous committee will have to deal with them. Also, I would worry about your last filing with the State Board of Elections since you can not file an affidavit once you have exceeded the $1000 threshold during an election cycle. I guess that is a new rule created by the “Fiscal Conservative Team” . How much money have you raised so far?? I am sure every penny will be listed on the report due next week. Is the money all stored in that new safe that you got, hopefully so, I would not want to lose any. It seems to me that you are the one with a lot of free time, while you were posting to this site at 2:30 PM in the afternoon, I was hard at work. I would concern myself with running the Cecil County Republican Central Committee, for which you were elected, and let others take care of reviewing the budget without showing bias towards individual county employees.

    • Hmm might be an interesting campaign financing story for Someone Noticed. We’ll look into the state filings. AFter seeing what’s there, we’ll take it from that point and see if we can get some comments on the record, since that’s already started.

  20. If grants go away, so may my wife’s job; so be it. I can’t complain about government spending if my wife and I are not willing to do our part and sacrifice some. Otherwise I would be a hypocrite; a character trait quite frankly I despise. Anyway, even in this lousy employment environment few want to do what I did for my employer across the US for 28 years. I’ve been told I could go back to work by my former employer; not that I want to do so even though I am at an age where my SS would not be impacted by working; I’m having too much fun.

    So Mr. Zeauskas, you may take aim at the Dept of Aging but beware that it is part of that 3rd rail of politics. Our present senior citizens were sold a bill of goods by both Democratic and Republican administrations for over 70 years that SS was a retirement and in the 1960s that Medicare would take care of them in old age, but seniors are finding out that SS will not meet today’s expenses and Medicare is becoming more expensive and both programs are in danger of going bankrupt. They are not happy from what I see and hear. Senior citizens do vote quite regularly and those that mess with their benefits, as did Representative Rostenkowski, may feel their wrath.

    Representative Rostenkowski, chairman of the Ways and Means committee, in 1989 supported and voted to raise Medicare taxes on the more well-to-do senior citizens and the bill passed. As a result, one day while meeting with senior citizens they became angry and the congressman was chased down a Chicago street and surrounded in his car. Cutting services may invoke the same reaction and Mr. Zeauskas, you are now on the public record as to your position on senior services. That won’t help Republicans. BTW, the tax was repealed 3 months later.

    Oh, Alexis, thank-you for your kind words, but being retired I have the time to do research. Also, I do not remember seeing Mr. Zeauskas or Mr. Patterson at the budget hearing on 1/11/2011, but I was more concerned with the presentation than who was attending. And the snow storm did come earlier than forecast, so I was actually surprised that it was held. The county was going to put out a notification at 4 PM if the meeting was canceled; possibly notifying the public by the online E-mail system one can sign up for on the ccgov.org website and on the meeting schedule page and/or on the home page. Attending the Tuesday 9 AM working sessions has its good points.

    • Mr. Reasin,

      You have shown yourself to be not only a class act, but truly someone who is willing to accept the big picture of what impact government cuts has – even when it might affect them personally.

      On the other hand, Mr. Zeauskas – your “threat” to Mr. Reasin’s wife’s employment has revealed a lot about you as well. Your attempts at intimidation are nothing but a pathetic bully tactic. I hope the County Commissioners will completely dismiss any input you provide – especially about the department Mr. Reasin’s wife works for.

  21. “Chairman” Chris Zeauskas has not responded to questions regarding his role as “Chairman of the Republican Party”. He states that “We are looking at the budget and all the departments”. So what. They have no control over the budget. He and the other Smipkins said that in prior years, yet provided no suggestions or solutions. Now that they have gained control of the Republican Central Committee they should fulfill their obligations by supporting, not attacking Republican elected officials. Interesting that they have time to look at the budget but have no time to prepare for or conduct meetings. Interesting that they list a Newark John Birch Society meeting on their website calendar, but not this Monday’s meeting of the Republican Club of Cecil County. Sadly, Zeauskas is serving as Chairman of the SMIPKIN Central Committee.

  22. Valerie Falcioni

    I was at the meeting of the Delegation on 1/4/11, and, after reading through all of these posts on the subject, find it utterly incredulous how words can get contorted to the point of being unrecognizable! Mr. Zeauskas and Mr. Patterson, I can’t believe that you are still spewing out sour grapes and continue to twist the words of Ms. Moore and Ms. Broomell! I heard them speak with my own ears, and neither of them were talking about taxes. Ms. Broomell spoke of impact fees, which is not the same as general taxes. Thank you, Mr. Reasin, for clarifying exactly how impact fees affect a local budget, both the positive and negative aspects of it. It is merely a tool, a temporary one at that. The ladies were asking what tools they had at their disposal, not how to raise taxes. I am quite frankly becoming quite disgusted with the accusations and the deliberate efforts to paint some people in a bad light in order to support their feeble arguments. We are supposed to be on the same side here. Chris Z. and Ted P, I think that you both need to do your homework (i.e., attend the meeting you have an opinion about) before you speak.

  23. Jacque Broomell

    To Mr. Abbott, Mr. Reasin and Ms. Falcioni-
    Here, here. I could not have said it better myself. It is truly a shame that both Mr. Zeauskas and Mr. Patterson find themselves in the positions they are currently “serving” in.

  24. I don’t understand how certain individuals posting here could possibly think that a new impact fee would not be a tax increase? Why do we as citizens want to support artificial inflation of housing prices and potentially rent for new homes during this time of economic hardship for many businesses and families in our county? Impact fees equate to penalizing new people for coming to our county. Assessing an impact fee on developers and builders right now is like kicking a dog when he’s down. Forgive me if I am sensitive to talk about “finding revenue streams” or “implementing new fees.” That’s because I know all too well that those phrases are codes for tax increases.

    • It sounds like, Mr. Patterson, that you feel it is better for the cost of the necessary infrastructure that is needed for new development to be funded by ALL of the taxpayers of Cecil County – instead of those costs being somewhat offset by those who require that new infrastructure?

      Sounds like the typical “liberal” mindset to me.

  25. I was also at the meeting. Just because you call a tax a fee does not mean it is not a tax. I called Commissioner Broomell to ask her about why we are not looking at cutting the size of government instead of finding new revenue sources to pay for more government. While we we were talking she said that we do not have to call it a tax, we can call it a fee instead. I disagree with Mrs. Broomell’s wanting to use political double-talk to win on an issue. A fee is a tax. At the end of the day finding new revenue streams is code for higher taxes. We will see who is right about this issue if it passes.

    Ms. Falcioni, Commissioner Moore is my district Commissioner. It is my right and duty to question her on any issue I choose. I do not want my taxes to go up. This has nothing to do with the election it has to do with our property taxes. If you would like to talk to me about any matter concerning myself or my position my number (410-241-7111). Ms. Falcioni, do you belong to the Cecil County Patriots because I cannot believe that individuals from a so called “Tea Party” group would ever support more taxes at any level of government?

    • Mr. Zeauskas – yes, you have the right to question Commissioner Moore (or any other Commissioner) on any issue. As any citizen in Cecil County does, regardless of what district they live in.

      However, you do not have the right to make allegations that are incorrect.

      You have stated you are the Chairman of the (Cecil County) Republican party on this blog. I’m perplexed you feel slandering County elected officials is suitable behavior for anyone – let alone a party official.

  26. Apparently there is a new political party in Cecil County called the Smipkins. I call upon Ted Patterson (S) and Chris Zeauskas (S) end all pretense of loyalty to the Republican Party and it’s elected officials by admitting that they take their orders from Smigiel and Pipkin (SMIPKIN).

  27. GO Smipkins GO.

  28. Is Go Smipkins Go an acknowledgement that you are a member of the Smipkin Party and that your allegience is to Smigiel and Pipkin rather than the Republican Party?

  29. The SMIPKIN Bible apparently states that all fees levied by the “government ” are taxes. They attack any elected official who suggests even the possibility of implementation or increase of any kind of tax, fee, or service charge. In light of recent attacks by Ted Patterson(S) and Chris Zeauskas(S) on Commissioners Moore and Broomell, I expect them to publicly congratulate our Bd of County Commissioners for reducing landfill fees by 20% for mixed trash and recylables and 50% for recyclables only.

  30. The issue of impact fees is a catch 22. On one hand, it would be negative to increase the burdens on those wishing to purchase new homes. However, the logic used to justify impact fees is that new development does not pay for the necessary accompanying infrastructure through property taxes alone; therefore the cost of that infrastructure is passed on to all taxpayers. Nothing is free; someone must pay for roads, water waste management, schools, etc. Obviously, the first thing we need to do is look for any redundancies, inefficiencies, or waste in the current budget to finance our needs and provide relief to taxpayers. That is why the Cecil County Patriots is advocating that our current board of commissioners support a citizen review board to look at the intricacies of the budget, line by line to find inefficiencies and waste.
    Before you can have an intelligent discussion about impact fees you must look at the different sides of the issue, and answer the questions surrounding the issue based on facts. Does new development pay for itself by way of property taxes? If so, then impact fees should not be considered. If not, then who is responsible for those consequential costs? Is it more fair for the burden to be passed to all of the current taxpayers by way of property taxes, or should it be paid for by charging developers an impact fee for breaking new ground in the county? Either way you answer, whether the economy is thriving or in a slump, there will be new development, and there will be costs associated with developing. We need to deal with those costs in the most fair, economically-sound way. When I first learned about impact fees, I was totally opposed to them. Now I am undecided one way or another, because I don’t have the numbers to back up my position either way. Any one who is either for or against should be able to support their position with facts regarding the costs of development and how it can/should be paid for. Will impact fees affect the housing market in a negative way? Most likely, yes, and we certainly don’t want that. However, the question still remains then, how should the infrastructure be paid for?
    It amazes me that there are those who write on here who support policies which will necessarily drive up costs for the county (binding arbitration and passing the buck on teacher pensions) all the while claiming to be fiscally conservative. This is nothing more than pure hypocrisy. You can not increase the cost of government and then expect to cut the budget. The position of the local TEA party, the Cecil County Patriots, has been and always will be to cut spending AND taxes, and to limit the power of government and encourage individual liberty and responsibility. However, there are those who should be supporting the TEA party who instead have maliciously and falsely attempted to misrespresent our positions in an effort to undermine our solidarity and effectiveness. The issue of impact fees is one that our group should investigate and present the facts on. However, since it is not an impending issue and we do have other critical issues that are more of a threat, this will have to be reserved for another day. Maybe someone on the “fiscal conservative team” will volunteer to do some research and present the numbers to support one position or another.

  31. Woah Nelly! This argument has been going on since the beginning of the month, you folks need to learn to let go of things!

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