Fineline readers might recall 3 angry posts on this blog after the County Council, in the week before the election, approved a property tax cut for seniors with less than 75,000 dollars a year in taxable income. I am still burning mad about this issue. I have read with interest reports that
Councilman Calvin Ball recently proposed creating a committee to re-examine this issue.
Well lets not just examine this issue, lets get rid of the egregious and cynical tax cut.
First of all, this tax cut does nothing to address the unmet needs of those Seniors who need it the most: Those seniors who can't afford to own their own residence. On the other hand, those seniors who own the most expensive homes get the most relief.
This inequity is not addressed by capping the availability of this tax cut to those having an annual income of less than $75,000. One could easily have an income of $74,999 per year and yet be among the wealthiest Americans. In fact, if Warren Buffet (the second richest person in the United States, I didn't use the richest, Bill Gates, in my example because he is too young) chose to move to HoCo and live in its more extravagant and expensive home, he could, if he wished, qualify for this tax cut. He could merely stop receiving a salary or wages and limit his dividend and bond income to $74,999 annually while at the same time spending the rest or investing in non-income producing investments (they would still make him money by increasing in value). Or heck, he could stop making money completely and live the most extravagant lifestyle in the nation by spending his enormous fortune away AND STILL QUALIFY FOR THIS TAX CUT!
And why limit this relief to just seniors, there are plenty of other groups in HoCo who have unmet needs that need to be addressed. For example, the severely disabled.
And speaking of unmet needs, the county's multimillion-dollar deficit for future health care costs for county employees when they retire is currently estimated at $477 million. County Executive-Elect Ulman says the county must devise and fund a plan to resolve the problem.
We all know where they should start.