Herald-Mail Forums

August 06, 2007

Last week's question:

Washington County's excise tax law now exempts additions, farm construction and elderly and work-force housing from payment. Should those exemptions be retained or eliminated?

· Retained. We should be getting something for our taxes.

· Do away with some county government seats. That would save some money that could be put to better use. There is way too much government these days, and for what?

· Eliminated. How can the elderly keep paying? The bottom fell out of the housing market but the house tax has not been adjusted for the fall of the housing market. You can't even sell your house for what it's assessed for, yet we are paying tax on that unadjusted value. Why add more tax? Give it to the big time developer!


· We need the property-tax assessment adjusted back. Why are they keeping it where it was at the height of the housing market? You can't sell it for what it's assessed for.

· Retained.

· The current excise tax was created because of the increase in development and the arrival of new people to our county. County infrastructure has been affected by this increase.

· Why are you asking us when John Schnebly's excise tax force and the county commissioners will answer this question and, by the way, ignore anyone else's opinion?

· Before the excise tax, they created the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) which did not generate enough revenue for our big public spenders.

Now the excise tax and the APFO do not generate enough money for our big public spenders. I suggest that the county government quit fooling around with laws that don't provide the revenues they want and impose a new head tax on every resident. Why if there are 150,000 county residents, a $100 head tax would raise $15 million. If that's not enough - and it won't be for long - then the county can easily raise the head tax to $200 per resident and then later, even higher. Think of the simplicity of this approach compared with the APFO and/or the excise tax. Go for it. Only a very few of the residents in this county will complain and you can safely ignore their complaints.

· Please don't give them any more ideas ... we need to just cut them off of the money. Let it dry up and then see what falls out. In the Signal Corps, we call it shaking the blanket.

· Keep the exemptions. After all, I enjoy working harder and harder and paying more and more to support the parasites in this county.

· Absolutely not.

· Where does that money go, I wonder?

· We all know that an excise tax relief for development will end up being an exemption for all. The developers will not pass on the savings.

I want to know where we can find the lower taxes that we were all told we would see by allowing building unchecked for years. Remember that argument from the developers and their friendly local politicians when we all complained about the building surge?

The taxpayers are expected to pay for all new infrastructure in a development anyway. Show me one development that did not use taxpayer money and I will never complain again!

· I've got an idea. Let's think possitively about life in general. Bless yet another day that we are alive and well. Thank God and be with the people in the area that were struck with the death of a loved one.

Why do the Hagerstown people insist on being so negative? We are all very lucky for what we have in this area.

The people of Hagerstown complain about the police, water, sewer, electric, a baseball field, and it keeps going. Thank God for what we have. By complaining behind a screen, nothing will get done, except to upset other readers. And that results in more hate mail.

· The exemptions should be retained for farm buildings that aren't intended for residential use. All the other exemptions should be eliminated.

· Retained, especially for farm construction and the elderly. Every operational farm in this county slows the tide of growth from D.C./Baltimore. Providing benefits to the elderly is not only right, it's smart. We have much to learn from those folks!

· Well, if things keep going the way they are for the farms in this area, there won't be any farms to exempt. The elderly need all the help they can get.

You try paying rent, taxes, food, utilities and meds on their pittance of income and see if you're calling them "parasites"

What needs to happen is that the county needs to start using the public's money like it has an ounce of common sense, instead of that money being its own personal piggy bank. Then taxes wouldn't be such an issue.

· The excise tax is about 3 years old and this question presumes that we will be stuck with it forever. How did this county government survive for 227 years without the excise tax?

Oh, I know, the politicians were smarter and didn't spend $20 million plus on an emergency communication system that doesn't work and didn't make loans to filmmakers who didn't pay the loans back to the county.

This week's question:

Recently, officials of the City of Annapolis announced they were considering banning plastic shopping bags to help preserve the Chesapeake Bay. Is that a good idea, or is there a better way to improve bay water quality?

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