Reason #7 had to do with the first of Steve Schuh’s 5 point plan to save Anne Arundel County by lowering property tax rates by 3%. Somehow, Steve believes that saving people $27.30 per year per $100,000 of assessed value will lure all manner of new employers to the county.
If only it were that easy. Don’t you just hate it when politicians make promises that don’t make any sense just to get your vote – and because they think you can’t figure that out for yourself? I do, hate it that is. That’s why I write the Next Contestant.
Let’s take another look at Steve’s 5 point plan in the snapshot at the end of this post and at points 2, 3 and 5 in particular. (I’m purposely skipping point 4 because it’s a joke. He’s going to make county government nicer and believes that’s one of the 5 most important things he can do for you. Nice is good, I agree, but is it really a problem at all? And a problem worthy of “Top 5” status?)
Point 2 tells us that he’s going to improve the quality of public education by replacing the county’s 12 community high schools with 24 smaller, neighborhood schools.
Point 3 claims that he’s going to improve public services by hiring more police, fire and corrections professionals and raising their salaries. (Apparently, he’s happy with what teachers are making.)
Point 5 is where he tells us that he’s going to save the county’s waterways.
So what do these three points have in common, other than who proposed them? Two things… One is that they are all long-term. In other statements he’s made, Steve has admitted that his school construction program will take decades. It’s a program for your children’s children. He says point 3 is going to happen “over the next several years.” And improving waterways, however important, is always a long-term effort, at best.
The other thing they have in common is that they’re all very costly. Very expensive. How’s Steve going to pay for all this? Particularly when he’s proposing a 3% ($18 million) reduction in property tax rates? The answer: Economic growth. He’s going to grow the county’s economy. In fact, that’s point 1 on his 5 point list. He’s going to grow the economy and pay for all his other points with the net tax revenues all this growth is going to generate, if any. Go Steve! (I’m kidding.)
So your choice is simple. It’s not really a 5 point plan. It’s a one point plan. Either you believe in Steve Schuh’s ability to grow the county economy in a way that generates substantial net revenues to pay for all his other promises, and do it quickly enough to make a real difference, or you don’t – in which case Steve’s 5 point plan becomes 1 more reason not to vote for him.