Dear Members of the Prince George’s County Council:
On behalf of the members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I strongly encourage you to oppose tax increases contained in the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget. If enacted, the plan would increase the real property tax rate by 15 percentage points, which could add up to an additional $500 tax burden for an average middle-class homeowner annually.
On top of the proposed property tax increase, the Council is considering a substantial increase in the telecom tax, which applies to landline, wireless, and cable bills. Currently, consumers in Prince George’s County pay an 8 percent tax monthly on their telecommunication devices and services. The proposal would increase that to 12 percent per month. When combined with other taxes levied on telecommunication devices and services (including a 6 percent sales tax, a $1.00 per month state and county 911 tax and other federal taxes), residents of Prince George’s County would face a new total rate of 26 percent! This would mean that Prince George’s County’s residents would pay the second highest telecommunications tax rate in the entire country.
The Fiscal Year Budget currently before the Council increases expenditures by 5.7 percent, but the Maryland Department of Planning projects the County’s population will grow by an annual average of 0.31 percent between now and 2020, and real per capita personal income in the County will grow just 1.25 percent. Finally, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the Consumer Price Index will increase no faster than 1.9 percent between January and December 2016. In total, government in Prince George’s County would grow two to three times faster than County residents’ ability for pay for it. This is unsustainable.
Rather than increasing the tax burden on Prince George’s County residents, NTU urges the County Council to reevaluate existing programs, improve efficiency, cut waste, and bring expenditures down to responsible and affordable levels.
Sincerely,Clark PackardPolicy and Government Affairs Manager National Taxpayers Union