Montgomery County Taxpayers League

The Voice of Taxpayers of Montgomery County, Maryland

Monthly Archive: March 2011

“Moving the goal posts for Montgomery workers”

From the Washington Post of March 11, 2011, a letter from Gino Renne,  president of United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 1994, Montgomery County Municipal and County Government Employees Organization:

“The problem is a revenue problem.  The poor, the unemployed, the homeless — they’ve all paid more than their fair share.

“Who’s left?

“We know who they are.  The country clubs that pay taxes on less than one-tenth the value of their land; businesses such as Live Nation, which is enjoying millions of dollars in giveaways to build a rock-and-roll venue.  There are others.  We need to tax those who can afford it more and stop giving them handouts they don’t need.”

Read the full story at the Washington Post.

“Declaration of war” by County School Board

From the Washington Post of March 13, 2011:

“In a legal petition filed this month, the schools, which already consume 57 percent of county spending, are asking the state to force the county to spend tens of millions of dollars more on public education.  If the school system’s badly misguided effort succeeds, the effect would be to eviscerate county spending on virtually every other area of local government services — libraries, health services, parks and public safety — all of which have already been badly depleted by three straight years of budget cuts.”

Read the full story at the Washington Post.

Lawsuit Filed Against Montgomery Community College

Judicial Watch  “filed a taxpayer lawsuit [on January 20, 2011] against the Board of Trustees of Maryland’s Montgomery College for unlawfully charging discounted “in county” tuition rates to students who graduate from Montgomery County public high schools, regardless of their place of residency or immigration status.  The new lawsuit alleges Montgomery College’s tuition policy violates both Maryland and federal law and places a substantial financial burden on Montgomery County taxpayers who subsidize the cost of students attending the community college.”

Read the press release from Judicial Watch which as “a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law” and is located in Washington, DC.

“Law of the jungle”

From the Montgomery Gazette of March 4, 2011:

“The most recent heist was the 2002 Thornton Commission, which doubled school aid from $2.8 billion (2001) to $5.7 billion (2011) without a funding source.  The Thornton Commission also made the distribution criteria even more beneficial to low-wealth subdivisions.  That’s why today’s Thornton state school aid formula gives $10,898 to every Baltimore student, $7,169 to every P.G. student and only $3,974 to every Montgomery student.

Remember the Thornton formula, which self-adjusts annually according to each county’s student enrollment and wealth shifts, was blessed by the politicians and education high priests as the most progressive, fair and noble approach — until now.

This year, the Thornton formula happens to reduce Baltimore’s aid by $15.3 million, reduce P.G.’s aid by $20.9 million and increase Montgomery’s aid by $33.2 million because Montgomery’s wealth (home values) plummeted and student enrollment spiked. That’s this year’s progressive, fair and noble outcome.

But instead of accepting the formula’s results, Del. [Jill] Carter [(D-Baltimore city)] and her counterparts are saying, “Screw the formula, we want more money even if it means swiping Montgomery’s share.” ”

Read the full story at the  Montgomery Gazette.

“Combined retiree health obligations top $3B for schools”

From the Montgomery Gazette of March 4, 2011:

“Retiree benefits for health care alone are likely to cost Montgomery County Public Schools $1.56 billion in the foreseeable future, an increase of $200 million from projections two years ago, according to a consultant’s analysis in February.

“The annual contribution from the school system required to pay for those benefits during three decades is projected to be $156 million for fiscal 2012, an increase of $25 million from fiscal 2010, Washington, D.C.-based Mercer consultants said in their analysis.”

Read the full story at the  Montgomery Gazette.

“Level the field on contracts”

From the Washington Post of March 6, 2011:

“MONTGOMERY COUNTY has dug itself a budgetary hole so deep that it will take major structural and systemic reforms for it to climb out. Even after severe spending cuts for the past several years, the county still has to slash $300 million this year to balance its $4.3 billion budget. The obvious place to start a major rethink is in the county’s relationship with its public-employee unions.”

Read the full story at the Washington Post.