Report: The Unintended Consequences of Impact Fees in Baltimore County

Baltimore County has an opportunity to appeal to young professional families, including people who presently live in high-rent city apartments.  That would expand the county’s tax base, stimulate commercial activity, and help rebalance the county demographically. However, proposed tax and development fee increases could induce many young people to opt for residences in other counties.  That would serve to limit Baltimore County’s tax base growth, and hurt the local construction industry, local retailers and other commercial enterprises. Proposed impact fees would also potentially impact the pace of commercial development, resulting in even more burden placed on shrinking numbers of prime age workers/households.  Such outcomes would be inconsistent with long-term investment in infrastructure, including schools.Read Full Report Here... Continue reading
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Don Mohler: A Look in the Rear View Mirror

One year ago, we lost my friend Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz far too soon. As many of you know, just days before his untimely passing, Kevin spent 14 hours filming footage for the gubernatorial commercials that were going to air the following week. For obvious reasons, that footage remained unedited for almost a year. Thankfully, Dave Hamrick and Dan Rabin, the creators behind RSH Campaigns, recently completed the two commercials that would have filled the air waves. I can’t think of a better way to honor Kevin’s legacy. The County Executive’s family recently viewed the commercials for the very first time and authorized us to share them with you on Center Maryland. I hope you will enjoy and understand why so many of us believed that Kevin Kamenetz would have been the democratic candidate for governor if fate had not taken another turn.- Don Mohler... Continue reading
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Cailey Locklair - MDRA OP-Ed

The Maryland Retailers Association supports the firm stance Governor Hogan and the Maryland legislature took against selling Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, or “ENDS,” to minors. Maryland retailers provide adult smokers access to healthier and safer alternatives to cigarettes, and these products were never intended to encourage teen smoking. We believe ENDS products should not be marketed towards children, and will continue to fight for common sense measures against this practice. However, we cannot support Food and Drug Administration Acting Commissioner Sharpless's proposed regulations that would effectively end the sale of e- cigarette products in convenience stores and service stations in the state. Denying adults access to e-cigarette products would not help Marylanders. In fact, denying access to healthier alternatives to smoking would only encourage Marylanders to continue consuming combustible tobacco products. Moreover, the retail industry already goes to great lengths to keep teens from smoking. Just as we require identification to... Continue reading
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Delegate Nick Mosby - No More Taxpayer Money Until Stronach Replaces Laurel Park Housing

On Friday, March 29, I had the opportunity to tour the worker housing at the Laurel Park racetrack with Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, as the Maryland General Assembly considers taking the unusual action of mandating that MEDCO provide a $120 million loan to the Stronach Group. During our visit, I learned that pictures provided to me last week by a horse industry whistleblower were accurate. A county inspection that took place the two days earlier – after the Sun first reported the horrific living conditions – found unsanitary living conditions, non-working smoke alarms, uncovered wires and outlets, and numerous other violations. Maryland’s Racetrack Facilities Renewal Account (RFRA) law specifically stipulates that quality living conditions are a prerequisite for receiving funds. After more than $100 million in taxpayer-subsidized RFRA spending – and 16 years after a Baltimore Sun report highlighted the “slum-like” conditions at Laurel Park – the Stronach Group... Continue reading
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Consumer Energy Alliance Supports the Independence Energy Connection Project

Transmission project will deliver savings and protect Maryland consumers from power outages Washington, D.C - As Maryland legislators consider the future of energy infrastructure and regulatory changes in the state’s electric market, Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) Mid-Atlantic Executive Director Mike Butler reinforced the consumer group’s support for an energy policy that can bring affordable and reliable power to the region for consumers. As the leading consumer advocate for energy, CEA works to ensure that families – especially low-income individuals, those on fixed incomes and people living paycheck-to-paycheck – and businesses have access to the affordable, reliable energy they need to meet critical budget and payroll numbers. To ensure this happens, it is essential that our policymakers and members of the community understand the importance of projects like the Independence Energy Connection (IEC), which will create access to the electric grid for low-cost energy to move to areas that currently lack access,... Continue reading
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