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The write-up on the Tal­bot County bal­lot ques­tion in the League of Women Vot­ers Vot­ers’ Guide is out of date and mis­lead­ing.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.

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