Two Term Initiative
SUPPORT TWO-TERM LIMITS FOR THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE.
By Stacey Sauter
And they’re off!!
On April 28'th, The Committee for Better Government (“CBG”) officially launched its drive to gather signatures for a ballot initiative to limit the Montgomery County Executive to just two consecutive terms instead of three. Collecting over 200 signatures on its very first day of operations in the public, petitioners heard a wide-range of voters’ concerns at the 2023 Olney Days event with Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike stating how disgruntled they are with Marc Elrich.
Many of them want term limits regardless of who holds the office, but in particular they are fed up with Elrich’s heavy progressive hand. The CBG is looking via its “2T” campaign to ensure that Elrich cannot run again in 2026, hoping to protect our citizens from his heavily progressive and spendthrift ways which are driving this county and state further into the ground.
ANOTHER PROPERTY TAX INCREASE? Most recently, along with his $6.8 billion proposed 2024 fiscal year budget, Elrich wants a ten percent property tax increase, and another increase in our recordation taxes. Why? Because there’s a projected $145 million structural deficit in his budget – this in spite of millions of dollars in Covid relief from the federal government and having raised property taxes by a similar amount in 2017. Where are all of our taxpayer dollars going? Nearly half of it is for the ever-growing human services the county provides, without significant detail in the budget for the exact programs it services. The deficit is also swelling from programs begun during Covid with the temporary federal aid that should be dismantled, but are not.
MARYLAND IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE STATE IN THE COUNTRY FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS. Regarding Erlich’s desired tax increases, the question is whether or not the County should be forced to balance its budget by making the same sacrifices taxpayers and property owners do, or simply be allowed to dip into the hard-earned money of its citizens whenever it can’t control its spending? Maryland is already coming in dead last in surveys and polls showing the toll on its middle class. According to a recent data release from SmartAssets.com, a “Census Bureau’s 2021 One-Year American Community Survey” shows that Maryland is the top-most expensive state for the middle class in this country. Additionally ,a December 2021 Kiplinger report stated: “Middle-class families in the Old Line State get killed when it comes to state and local income taxes. (Baltimore City and every county in Maryland imposes a local income tax.) For that reason, our hypothetical family's Maryland income tax bill is the highest is the country.”
The problem is, our vaunted middle class is withering under the weight of these taxes, and many are fleeing Maryland at the same time the state swells with more indigent residents.
DO YOU WANT A COUNTY EXECUTIVE WHO ALWAYS SEEKS THE TRAP DOOR OF INCREASED TAXES TO FUND HIS PET PROGRESSIVE PROJECTS? Empower Montgomery, a bi-partisan advocacy group, stated in 2019 that, “Montgomery County has had nine major tax hikes in the last sixteen fiscal years. The property tax was raised five times (Fiscal Years 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2017). In FY 2017, the property tax was raised by 9%. The energy tax was raised in FY 2004 and 2011. In FY 2011, the county’s leaders promised to sunset the energy tax hike in two years. That did not happen. The county raised the income tax to the maximum level allowed by state law in FY 2004. The county raised the recordation tax on home sales in FY 2017. Despite all of these tax hikes, the county’s revenue growth has slowed down. Between 1998 and 2009, county revenue growth (excluding state and federal aid) averaged 6.2% a year. Between 2010 and 2018, county revenue growth averaged 3.1% a year. The county just reported a $120 million revenue shortfall despite raising property taxes by 9% two years ago.”
That was then, and this is now when we’re still hampered by budget shortfalls. What’s the common denominator here? Democrats have been in charge the whole time.
THE EROSION HAS TO STOP, AND THE “2T” CAMPAIGN IS THE FIRST STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. There are multiple things you can do to help the Committee for Better Government and their “2T” campaign efforts to limit Marc Elrich – or any future Montgomery County executive – from serving three terms:
1. Sign the petition, and join the ranks of petitioners to get the required signatures. Ten-thousand are required, but at least 16,000 are needed to make sure all signatories are properly registered to vote in the county.
2. Make a donation. The campaign needs funds to promote the effort and to reach as many registered voters as possible. A minimum $10 donation is requested.
3. Share this information with your friends and family and let them know how crucial it is to saving the heart and soul of Montgomery County!
Stacey Sauter is a Republican former candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates, a REALTOR and member of the Montgomery County Republican Party Central Committee. She can be reached at [email protected]
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