Capital LTE: “Thank you, Sen. Winegrad”

Capital Gazette: Letters to the Editor, September 16, 2018

I write to commend former state Sen. Gerald Winegrad on his opinion column documenting how more development leads to the need for more services and thus more taxes (The Capital, May 22).

Exacerbating this problem is the deteriorating quality of life from more development and more people —increased traffic, school overcrowding, water and air pollution, and loss of forest and open spaces. The Capital has fostered a choice that is no solution —develop more or raise taxes.

Left out of these discussions are these facts from recent U.S. Census data found:

From 2010 to 2017, Annapolis grew by 1,028 people, the 10th highest growth in numbers of 157 municipalities in this state, and its population is now 39,321, the seventh highest of all state municipalities. Annapolis grew by 2.7 percent while the average for all municipalities was 2.3 percent.

Despite this growth in Annapolis and despite significant rises in property assessments and its taxable base, property taxes continue to rise — proving once again that more development and more people means more taxes.

In the past, to bring in even more taxes, the city annexed huge swaths of undeveloped county lands, much of it forested. Annexations in 2005, taken against the will of the county, included the 190 acres at Crystal Spring and Mas Que Farm, 39 acres at Parkside Preserve next to Quiet Waters Park, and 23 acres at Rocky Gorge. Development plans have already or would strip more than 50 acres of forests at these sites and add more than 500 more housing units to the Forest Drive corridor.

If more growth meant less need to raise taxes, why is the continually growing and developing City of Annapolis faced with the necessity of raising property taxes? Developers profit while we are left holding the bag.

NANCY PLAXICO, ANNAPOLIS

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