I read with interest Del. Stephen Lafferty's attack on our councilman, David Marks, who is questioning the new stormwater tax required for Baltimore County residents.
Lafferty's attack was a cheap shot. Like others, I am glad that Councilman Marks is standing up for Baltimore County residents who have endured tax after tax from nearly every level of government. The state legislature (run by Del. Lafferty's political party) has increased electricity taxes, gasoline taxes, titling taxes on cars, sales taxes — some 37 times during Lafferty's silent tenure. These taxes and disguised fees burden nearly every household in this state. Meanwhile, the "rain tax," as irresponsible as any other tax, was allowed to proceed unanswered. Councilman Marks is doing Lafferty's job. Councilman Marks is asking questions and looking to explore alternatives.This begs the question, which politician works for the people?
Have incentives been placed to promote conservation to not maintain, but to restore the bay? Other than removing our own sidewalks, no. The "stormwater management" assertion is just another charge. And like the past several years, the state continues to spend without abandon and with zero efforts to contain costs. How could we expect the rain tax income to be spent responsibly?
I love the bay. From the diversity around Blood Island to looking for sharks teeth by Calvert Cliffs to seeing the crystal clear grasses kayaking in Cecil County at the mouth, the Chesapeake is to be cherished. But therein lies an economic responsibility when the proper balance of countless taxes cumulatively pushes people to poverty level. Yet, ironically it is the political party that pretends to support the little guy incisively passes taxes and "fees" (more taxes) destined to hurt senior citizens and those on fixed incomes the most.
Even those renting will be affected. The rain tax will mean higher rent and lesser services. Sadly, the guy renting is on a fixed income that is deteriorated by higher gas. Since fuel costs more, groceries cost more, and that's before the initial 20 percent sales tax increase in 2007. It's not just the retiree and fixed income individuals, the rain tax hurts everyone.
Councilman Marks is doing exactly what we should expect from our public servants. He is asking tough questions and not allowing himself to be intimidated by the state government — or by a politician who fancies himself a newsletter editor in the waning days of the General Assembly. Maybe Del. Lafferty should have been working for the people and stop the bullying.