Anne Arundel County executive hopeful Del. Steve Schuh made an appeal to the County Council on Monday to cut the property tax to offset new stormwater fees, then traded barbs over Twitter with County Executive Laura Neuman over his proposal.
Speaking at the open forum at the beginning of Monday's County Council meeting, Schuh, a Republican from Gibson Island, turned in 2,300 postcards from residents supporting his plan to cut property taxes.
As a state delegate, Schuh in favor of a state law requiring Baltimore City and 10 counties to enact fees to pay for projects to control polluted runoff.
He told council members, however, that the fees established by the county are "financially burdensome."
The annual stormwater fees for residential homeowners are $34, $85 or $170, based on the type of home. Non-residential property owners pay based on the amount of impervious surface on their land. Owners of nonprofit properties pay $1 per year.
Schuh said the council should have established a minimal fee and paid for stormwater projects through existing county revenues.
A majority of the current County Council has been supportive of the stormwater fees, overriding a veto from Neuman last year and killing a proposal to reduce the fees to $1 per year for all property owners.
Schuh's proposal sparked a Twitter exchange between himself and Neuman, who also is seeking the Republican nomination for county executive this year.
Neuman, who was not at the meeting, wrote on Twitter that Schuh's proposal would result in cuts to the budget for county services such as police and snow removal.
Schuh replied that his proposal wouldn't require a cut in services. "Simple math," he wrote.