What’s interesting about this whole “rain tax” issue is the way that certain things have turned as concerns who’s voting which way and the like.
In the Maryland Legislature, for instance, Governor Larry Hogan’s Bill to repeal this repellent piece of garbage, AKA the “Rain Tax,” was allowed to die in the respective House and Senate Committees.
Of course, as concerns the Maryland Legislature, this was all done as the DEMS refuse to ever give credit to Maryland GOP Legislators for ANYTHING. Or, in this case, even a GOP Governor of Maryland who campaigned against the “Rain Tax” as a centerpiece of his campaign strategy.
Hogan got elected Governor, Became Governor, and introduced his Rain Tax Repeal, which the DEMS then let die…so they could then introduce their own copy-cat Bill, which I bet will likely pass, especially since it carries the name of Senate President, Mike Miller. Whatever, both bills still require local funding, but at least there is still a shot that the “Rain Tax” will die at the State Level. And, as Governor Hogan said, he doesn’t care who gets the credit.
Now, let’s look at the “Rain Tax” on the Baltimore County level for a moment or two, shall we?
As of November’s election, in which Councilman Todd Crandell replaced the retiring Democratic Councilman from Dundalk, the always brain-dead John Olzewski Senior, the Democrats on the County Council now out-number the GOP by a 4 to 3 count, as opposed to when they outnumbered them by a count of 5 to 2. So, why was the rain tax “repeal” in Baltimore County, a chance to effectively end it by bringing the tax itself down to one cent, defeated by a count of 5 to 2 instead of 4 to 3?
Now, everyone I know in Baltimore County fully expected the four Democrat to continue jumping into bed with and legislatively fondling Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamanetz – which they did, as Council-folk Tom Quirk, Vicki Almond, Julian Jones and Cathy Bevins all held their respective noses and swallowed the Rain Tax Bill by voting what I consider to be the wrong way. In fact, two of the three Republican Council members in Baltimore County also agree with my way of thinking on this matter, as Councilman Todd Crandell and Wade Kach voted the right way.
And that leaves one councilman, a guy I like a lot personally and get along with very well, Councilman David Marks (R-5). I’ve noticed that, recently, in correspondence I’ve received from some folks, his name is misspelled as “David Marx.”
Anyway, after effectively being bombarded by statements, comments and emails from those who share my way of thinking on the “Rain Tax” at any level of government and wanting to get Councilman Marks’ side of the story, I contacted him. Our exchange, in its entirety, is below:
Me: “Hi, David – About that rain tax vote of yours in Baltimore County….why? If you care to respond, your response will be published in its entirety.”
Councilman David Marks: “Joe, I voted against the enabling legislation in 2013 and certainly support eliminating the tax – but I disagreed with tapping our surplus when the county faces decisions that might compel some to raise the property or income tax rate in 2017 or 2018. Baltimore County begins its negotiations soon with the labor unions that represent most of our public employees. Because voters approved binding arbitration in 2010, there is a likelihood that one or more of our labor unions would seek arbitration.
I did not want an unelected arbitrator to force the county to spend tens of millions of dollars in 2017 and 2018, requiring us to raise property or income taxes. The surplus should be protected. My preference was to use an enterprise fund to reduce the rain tax – but that was not on the table. So I voted to reduce the tax rate by one third and protect the surplus. The Campaign for Liberty can attack me all they want (ignoring the fact that they didn’t send anyone to our hearings). I don’t want to reduce the rain tax and then be forced to come back in two years to raise other taxes because of binding arbitration.”
And, there you have it. Make of it what you will.
Here’s one thing I’d be willing to bet on with regards to this “Rain Tax” vote in Baltimore County: Republican David Marks will face a strong primary challenge when he’s up for reelection. And, I think that’s because so many Republicans no longer care about explanations. We want our taxes cut. And we want them cut now. Period. As concerns any possible competition Mr. Marks may face from the right, I’d be willing to bet they’d follow Governor Hogan’s successful campaign plan of “beat them over the head” with the “Rain Tax.”
Might be time to find a steel umbrella.