Thursday, January 19, 2006

Tax and spend?

There go those damn liberals again; always trying to cut our taxes.

A majority of County Council members said they support County Executive James Robey's proposal to cut the property tax rate by 3 cents, although two of the five members said the council should perform an extensive review of the budget before deciding to cut revenue.

Council chairman Christopher Merdon, an Ellicott City Republican, said the council should perform a comprehensive appraisal of Howard's tax situation.

"I'm not ready to sign up for that proposal," Merdon said of Robey's proposed property tax cut. "I'd like to review all of our taxes and provide the most common-sense tax relief possible."

Wait, am I reading that right? A Republican hesitating to cut taxes. What's next, gay cowboys? Oh, nevermind.

In all seriousness, I'm not completely sold on these tax cuts, either. First off, I'm always a little wary of making big decisions during election years. But more fundamentally, it seems like we should cut those taxes that we raised only a few years ago--namely, the income tax.

However, I can also see why cutting property taxes may be a better idea than cutting income taxes. With the massive assessment increases most homeowners have witnessed over the last several years, cutting the property tax rate not only saves folks money, but it lessens the blow of their increased, but yet unrealized, property values.

Regardless of these choices, it is clear that some taxes should be cut lest the insatiable beast that is our county government swallow recent budget surpluses.

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