Sunday, December 31, 2006

Its Not that Often that David Keelan and fineline Agree

But read this post from David's blog. It reveals a key (perhaps the key) issue facing HoCo.

Now do you see why the Senior Tax Cut gets under my skin?

Update: I don't agree with every thing David says in the Post. I most definitely am Not in favor of cutting back on the County Executive's transportation and security details or cutting any county-provided services. I think we have to bite the bullet and raise taxes. Of course I believe any tax increases should be progressive in nature. But David does draw attention to an important issue. I guess there had to be a catch.;-)


David W. Keelan said...

Steve, I don't advocate cutting back on the Executive Protection Unit.

Anonymous said...

You often say that you do not agree with the senior tax credit. What is your stance on the current proposed task force? Without it, the credit will move forward as is.

I like the idea of a task force but am concerned about the time frame they have.

Steve Fine said...

I'm not thrilled about the idea of a task force. It's a political land mine. I would prefer that the County Council rescind the tax cut, but that's not going to happen. I do think that the County Council needs to study the data to see if there really is a problem where senior citizens are being driven out of their homes by high property taxes and then, if there is such a problem, they need to look at a range of ideas to address that issue.

David W. Keelan said...

Steve, assessments are coming out this week. Just got mine and it is a shocker. I do expect that many seniors will find it pretty shocking too.

As you know homes are assessed every 3 years. In the past three years the market has been booming. From 2003 to 2005 the median price for a home in Maryland has gone up $100,000 (we don't have the figures for 2006 yet). In Howard County it the median housing costs are almost $200K higher than 3 years ago.

52% of the people in Howard County who don't have a mortgage on their home (we can assume these are retirees who paid off their mortgages)make less than $75K per year. Over 50% of these homes are worth less than the median price of a home in Howard County. For the sake of arguement we can assume that their assessments went up closer to the MD average rather than the Ho Co average.

That increase means a phase in of new taxes over the next three years of $500, to $1000, then to $1500 in new taxes for these seniors. Add that to the current tax bill and I think a few seniors will find this difficult to manage.

I think they should keep their money.