Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Betrayed by County Council on taxes, constituents speak out

The Montgomery County Council is hearing from constituents after voting unanimously to raise the overall tax burden to the highest level in County history last week. Many have taken to Facebook to vent on the councilmembers' pages:

Mark Bickel reminded Councilmember Hans Riemer that Riemer and his Council colleagues will all still receive a "MASSIVE salary increase" of 28% to $136,258 a year, even as they raised taxes and slashed the salary increases of County employees. The latter move led one County union official to call the nine councilmembers "clowns."

Many of those complaining are Democrats, and are warming to Robin Ficker's proposed ballot question on term limits for the Council. "Hans...dude...a 9% increase in property taxes?" wrote Richard Garifo. "Really? I'm blue to the bone but I have GOT to question how this money is being spent. This term-limit thing is looking pretty good right now."

"An 8.7% tax increase is nothing to be proud of. You should be embarrassed," wrote Ed Rothenberg.

Several citizens have asked to see any document that actually formalizes the agreement that the Council and their Board of Education colleagues have boasted they reached with this budget. The drama quickly ended, however, when a Council staff member acknowledged to Louis Wilen that there is no such document that requires Montgomery County Public Schools to reduce class sizes. Whoops! Not surprising, as the Council has no authority to enforce any such actions by MCPS or the BOE.


Anonymous said...

OK, the obvious question is, who exactly are these four County residents?

Anonymous said...

The obvious answer is:
They are residents who have posted on council members' Facebook pages.

Anonymous said...

Four out of one million. Not exactly a stampede.

Anonymous said...

6:46 If you're happy with deceptive tax practices, that's your right. We're dooming the county's future using tomorrow's taxes to pay previous shortfalls. We can't get rid of the DLC because there's no way to replace the money it generates.

But I didn't post on anyone's Facebook. Neither did my immediate neighbor. Or my landscaper. Or my spouse. The FedEx guy doesn't live in Montgomery County.
So that's 4 posted and 4 who feel the same way that didn't post.

Anonymous said...

Because the 8.7% property tax increase is a substantial one, more public detail is needed on expenditure increases.
-The salary increase proposed/budgeted for Hans Riemer is excessive.
-Are there any other inappropriate expenditure increases in the MoCo budget?
-MCPS needs better fiscal controls.
-Should additional public details be released on the MCPS budget?

Anonymous said...

The Council salary increases are for *all* 9 Councilmembers, I believe. Bad timing. Bad optics.

Anonymous said...

$136,258 more than you will make this year Dyer

Anonymous said...

9:52 lol...If you're gonna come in here swinging a big dick, then give your income.

Anonymous said...

"Hans...dude...This term-limit thing is looking pretty good right now."

Richard, Dude... even if a term-limit "thing" is passed this year, it won't affect Hans in 2018.

Anonymous said...

Apparently no postings on the follow-up proposal to reduce school impact taxes imposed on developers by from 50 to 59 percent (approx.). Gifts like that, and the $70M
tax expenditure to help out developers at White Flint, and further incentives to help occupy empty office space in Bethesda, go a long way toward explaining why the budget for schools is under water (i.e, would be but for the hike).

Why does anyone think term limits will solve this? You'll just have another crowd of tossers who owe their souls to developers. Public funding of council campaigns, in their entirety, would be a lot cheaper. The aggregate campaign costs for all council members and the executive run around $1.5 million every four years. Work out for yourself how many election cycles the single gift to White Flint would have paid for, if directed to general public benefit rather than private subsidy.


Robert Dyer said...

8:15: Here's my expose on the developer tax cuts:


I am the only media outlet to report on this so far.