Thumbs Up to Elkton: Fisona Adminstration Knows What Holding the Line on Taxes Means

Commentary

When Mayor Joseph Fisona and the Elkton Town Board say they’re going to hold the line on property taxes, they know what that means.  For four years now, Elkton’s political leadership has met the challenge in these difficult times by making sure homeowners in the town don’t have to dig into their wallets to hand over a little more to the municipality. 

To help us understand the challenge of maintaing flat property tax revenue over four years, we need some comparative data so let’s look at how the county has faired.  Cecil’s leadership increased the amount the property owner forks over by nearly 15% in the same period.  And it’s unclear what they’re going to do this year as the Republican board initiates delays, argues internally when someone proposes solutions, and points fingers at each other.  The deferrals began early on when the elected officials decided to hand the responsibility over to a committee to advise the board, and then they took a long time to make the appointments.  As the window of opportunity to be helpful grew shorter, we wondered why the county’s political leaders didn’t have their professional staff take care of the task.  Cecil County employs some of the best and most efficient professionals around and they know most efficiently how to implement whatever public policy orders the politicians give, without a learning curve.  Give a clear directive and they’ll implement it as efficiently as possible, with the best overall outcome for the public.

After the county raised the burden 10% four years ago, a Republican majority took control of the board but managed to raise rates nearly 5% after some hotly contested campaigns where pledges were made to “hold the line on taxes.”  As a result we watched as an internal party debate led by the Young Republicans took place to get theirparty members to hold that line.  Following all that uproar, publicity, political pressure and sharp criticism they managed to pull it off, voting the next year to not ask for any increased cash from household budgets.  This year we’re unsure what’s going to happen with the county as the situation for that governmental body is so unclear with so much infighting going on.  But Elkton has already given its staff professionals their orders.  The Elkton politicians told the them to not increase property taxes on its citizens.

The Fisona administration has consistently delivered, always keeping the constant yield so homeowners don’t have to dig deeper into their paychecks for the municipality.  Although we’re usually critics of the mayor, this is one situation where we have to award Elkton a thumbs-up.  We’d give him a double thumbs up, except that they did raise modest amounts of additional cash through a few other taxes and fees.  At least they know what hold the line on property taxes means.

Stay tuned and we’ll update the county report as things progress.  The advisory committee, focusing on how to cut expenditures, has to finish its factfinding and develop recommendations.  Then the commissioners need to make the decisions. 

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5 responses to “Thumbs Up to Elkton: Fisona Adminstration Knows What Holding the Line on Taxes Means

  1. Five Republicans and they have not done a thing they promised when asking to be elected. Hodge and Moore seem to always be working on some scheme to benefit themselves or their friends and have shown no leadership in cleaning house at the County Office Building. Broomell does what ever the Cecil County Patriot’s group tell her to do and she has not shown any willingness to cut the waste from government and to reorganize so there would be a savings so we would not need to raise the property rate on the citizens. Property taxes are way too high, we are hurting out here, where is the leadership? Mullins talks a lot and does nothing. The first time he steps up to the plate and makes an effort to act like a reformist Republican, he quickly backs down like a ground hog seeing his own shadow and apologizes for having had a backbone for however short a time. I will never vote for him again, he has failed to show leadership and has become a puppet of those he was sent there to replace. Dunn, is a little harder to peg, he seemed to come from nowhere, I don’ t know how he ever won since he was an unknown, at least in my circles. Dunn, rarely speaks but when he does, he makes sense, he shows conviction and is trying to live up to his promises to change county government. I only wish the other four could learn something from Dunn and perhaps realize they are in charge and the only thing we citizens will remember is what did they do to change the way things have been done in Cecil County? Buying an Airport that our friends can not afford to operate, by the way, is not what we mean by changing Cecil County for the better.

    • Wow, you seem to be channeling Mike Smigiel as usual. I expect you to attack Hodge and Moore since they are competent, independent, and able to lead. Poor Mulley, under the bus again. Was his sin to mention across the board cuts rather than specifically targeting the enemies of SMIPKIN? He is more of a champion of transparency than Broomell. Remember the closed session minutes that popped up in Annapolis in a Smigiel “show and tell”? Dunn the Deleter makes sense? Buying an airport? There should have been a real discussion rather than the false statement that a study by all commissioners took place. Talk about a culture of corruption.

  2. When Dunn speaks, he makes sense? I have to disagree with you there. How about his quick-slinging comments that were borderline libelous that he had removed from the official minutes???

  3. Was the pupose of this article to praise Elkton or criticize SMIPKIN enemies? The “Young Republicans” link takes you to the Republicans of Cecil website, a SMIPKIN organization. The other links are to SMIPKIN sites or pro-SMIPKIN writings. Cecil County is experiencing a major problem caused by O’Malley’s budget, the diversion of funds to the state, as well as forcing the county to assume responsibility for state programs. It is hard to maintain county roads when the state keeps the bulk of funds collected in the form of fuel taxes.

  4. Good job to the Elkton Town Commissioners for a job well done!

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