League clarifies Talbot tax cap ballot question
The write-up on the Talbot County ballot question in the League of Women Voters Voters’ Guide is out of date and misleading.
The original proposal to change the Talbot County Charter (Resolution 262) included a description of the temporary increase above the revenue cap as increasing each fiscal year by one cent per $100 of assessed value (e.g., 1 cent in 2020, 2 cents in 2021, 3 cents in 2022, and 4 cents in 2024). This is what we described in our Guide as one of the proposed changes to the Charter.
However, Resolution 262 was amended to remove that description and replace it with language meant to clarify that the increase would be limited to one cent in each (i.e., any) of the authorized years, thus changing the extent of the increase. Because the penny increase description appeared in articles in The Star Democrat on March 18 (the original plan explained by Councilman Laura Price), June 13 (after introduction of Resolution 262 at the June 12 council meeting), and again on August 5 (after Resolution 262 was passed as amended on July 31), we assumed the description of the accumulating increase was still the intent.
After consulting with the county attorney about the wording in the amendment, we feel confident in updating our description to say that the increase above the revenue cap is indeed limited to no more than one cent per $100 of assessed value and would be authorized, as needed, on a yearly basis over the next four years.
While we cannot change or reissue our printed Voters’ Guide, we have updated our VOTE411.org website to reflect this change and have flagged it as updated as of Oct. 23. We have also updated our online Voters’ Guide for Talbot County accessible on the LWVMD.org website and our Facebook page.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Talbot County Taxpayer’s Association for bringing this issue to our attention and the Talbot County Law Office for working with us to make the appropriate clarification.
Early voting is underway until Thursday, Nov. 1 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. The polls open on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 7 a.m. and will remain open until 8 p.m. Absentee ballots are must be returned by Nov. 6 to your local board of elections if delivered by hand or postmarked no later than Nov. 6 and received by Nov. 16 if mailed. We hope all registered voters will take the opportunity to vote; that’s an important part of making democracy work!
Jeanne A. Halpin is treasurer of the League of Women Voters of the Mid-Shore.