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Speak Out!


LAST WEEK'S ISSUE: -- The Annapolis city council, concerned about rental property maintenance and landlords who neglect their units, is considering a bill that would force landlords to repair or replace defective major appliances such as refrigerators, stoves and furnaces. The bill also would clarify who is responsible for general maintenance - the landlord or the tenant.

How serious a problem do you think Annapolis has with rental property maintenance? Do you think the city should be imposing stricter rules on property owners? And do you think there should be a tighter rein on the responsibilities of renters?

Your response:

More bureaucracy isn't a solution

Being a landlord (can't we PC that word?) of one property, I would like to know what prompted the mayor and three aldermen to propose this legislation. I've read the preface at the beginning of the bill, but let's cut to the impetus of the matter. There had to be a catalyst. What was/is it?

I treat my rental property as though I might want to, or have to, move back into it sometime. I don't want to get caught up in some bureaucratic paper chase because of someone else's laxity. There is a scarcity of decent, affordable rental properties in this city as it is. The latest tax assessment, the city's refusal to lower the cap on property taxes from 10 percent and now this - it is enough to make one want to just throw up their hands, sell their properties and move to another state.

If this bill is passed, in whatever form, then include the Annapolis Housing Authority and Anne Arundel County Housing Authority, by name as well, as they are the largest landlords of property in the city of Annapolis.

Bill Kerns Annapolis

We want your opinions

ISSUE: Responding to soaring real estate assessments, an Annapolis alderman has proposed a city charter amendment that would require the votes of six of the city council's nine members to allow property tax revenue to increase by 5 percent or more a year.

Alderman Joshua J. Cohen, an Eastport Democrat, introduced the measure this month to help residents gain predictability with their taxes and provide a reasonable safeguard as property values continue to rise.

Mayor Ellen O. Moyer, a Democrat, said she does not oppose Cohen's measure, but she expressed worry that requiring six votes to allow a property tax revenue increase of 5 percent or more - as opposed to, say, a simple majority of five - could unnecessarily politicize the budget process and restrict the city's ability to meet demands for services.

YOUR VIEW: Should a "super-majority" vote of the city council be required for property tax revenue to rise by 5 percent or more a year?

Tell us what you think at by Thursday. Please keep your responses short, and include your name, address and phone number. A selection will be published next Sunday.

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