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As Long as We Remember...

August 20, 2018

Blinded by Wasteful Spending

Jason Miller

Who is Shannon Bohrer? He is the Democrat running for office who wants to increase your taxes until you become enlightened.


Yes, you read that correctly. On July 5th of 2018, Democrat Council District 5 Candidate Shannon Bohrer wrote on his campaign blog that the constant yield property tax rate raises your property taxes. The title of his entry was "Character, Taxes, and Education."


The stated inspiration for the blog entry came when he witnessed a group of citizens advocating on behalf of increased taxes before the County Council during a hearing on the constant yield tax rate in Fiscal Year 2019 next year versus keeping the tax rate where it was in 2018.


In his blog Mr. Bohrer wrote:


"The two different methods of determining property tax rates included a “constant rate” and a “constant yield. The constant rate model would keep property taxes at the same level or amount. However, even with the same rate, if the property value goes up, your taxes go up. The constant yield would adjust the rate so the county would receive the same amount of funding. So, if your property value goes up, your taxes would not increase."


Conservative Republicans should be glad to see Mr. Bohrer reaching across the aisle to agree on a definition of constant rate that Republicans have been advocating for years. A definition that County Executive Jan Gardner continues to deny even as you read these words.


As Mr. Bohrer continued to write, he made a critical error in his conclusion. His basis for agreeing to our "Republican" definition hinged on a message seldom seen in print. As he continued his blog musings, his opinion became crystal clear. People who want to pay more in taxes are more educated and of higher moral character than those who don't.


Local conservatives could only hope for future progressive candidates to be as honest as Mr. Bohrer has been on taxes and those who are willing to pay more in taxes. He has taken great care to uplift those who don't mind wasting other people’s money.


"I was just a little surprised that citizens were in favor of keeping a constant rate tax system which increases their taxes. Primarily because we are accustomed to politicians promising to lower our taxes. However, I was very impressed with the reasons given."


Mr. Bohrer’s blog went off the rails soon after when hypocrisy became the engineer.


"The character of the citizens that spoke was evident to me. They were looking forward and understood that when the government provides education, public safety and infrastructure, there is a cost."


The blog then admits there is local government waste. Mr. Bohrer states it clearly.


"The argument that government is inefficient does have some validity. However, the argument that to fix the issue we need to collect fewer taxes, or as some like to say, ‘Starve the beast’’ does not work."


Here is the cold hard truth that progressives in Frederick County don't seem to get. Affluent liberals are not precluded from donating more of their own money to local government they want to see funded. A higher tax bill for everyone is not a form of virtuous charity.


Considering our county government gave almost $900.000 to various charities, candidates should be cautious of the “starve the beast” rejection while making the claim that local government always needs more in taxes.


Our county has taxed the middle class to the point of decline in recent years according to the United Way’s Alice report which made its rounds on the media in 2017. Mr. Bohrer does not even mention this.


In a private working family's personal budget, decisions are made every day about using personal money properly and most importantly in its most efficient way.


Why is it that when conservatives attempt to use the same logic on government spending, we either "don't get it" about helping people, or we "don't care" about our local community.


Given that Mr. Bohrer admits to inefficiencies in Frederick County Government, are the conservatives who oppose incremental tax increases really against local education, local infrastructure, environmental protection, or public safety as he implies in his campaign blog?


No. The answer is “NO.” Conservatives merely want the government to address the inefficiencies that Mr. Bohrer has bravely admitted to and follow up with a public discussion on how to best properly fund Frederick County's obligations to its residents without treating the taxpayer like a frog being boiled slowly in water.


Common sense dictates that we do this before continuing down the path of boated county budgets. If the County Council could properly spend the millions of dollars it has garnished, conservatives wouldn't quibble over $1000 here and there.


It's too bad that there are some candidates who care little for how effectively taxes are spent. There is no moral fiber in turning a blind eye to the wasting of other people's money.


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