“We need to look at our county budget as each of us would look at our personal budget. Our expenses cannot exceed our income.” This is a direct quote from Richard Smith on the mailer my family received yesterday promoting his campaign for Queen Anne’s County Commissioner. Mr. Smith is one of the Waterman/Developer Cartel candidates.
I could not agree more with Mr. Smith’s quote, but unfortunately, Mr. Smith didn’t really mean it - at least with respect to the recent controversial purchase of the Sause property in Centreville. You see, Richard Smith represented Judge Sause in the sale of his property to Queen Anne’s County.
Everyone knows that the county is facing serious financial shortfalls due to declining property values, hence less property tax revenue. In simple terms, “our expenses have exceeded our income” and Mr. Smith is fully aware of this. So why did he facilitate a deal for our county to pay 1.3 million dollars for a property assessed for around 260,000 dollars. Yes, that’s right. We paid five times the assessed value. (Click here to see the deal.)
In August of 2001, my wife and I bought our home just a few blocks down on the same street as Judge Sause’s 204 N. Commerce Street house. We paid $260,000.00. Our first assessment was for $218,466.00 and our first property tax bill was $3,364.38. (Click here to see our first bill.) Fast forwarding to the time of the Sause deal, our assessment had grown to $589,210.00 with a tax bill of $4,816.04. (Click here to see our last bill.)
Now just a little bit off my main point, I’d like to point out how much more we are paying in taxes. The reason this is significant is that Mareen Waterman and his candidates are spouting off that increased development will somehow keep our taxes low. Centreville has been the fastest growth area in the county and one of the fastest growth areas in the state. So why are our taxes so high when they claimed that they would go down? They’re not telling the truth, that’s why! Now back to Dick Smith.
Mr. Smith, here’s what I’m willing to do. I want to make up the one million forty thousand dollar difference that my fellow citizens incurred on your little deal with the county and you’re just the man to make it happen. All you have to do is sell my home for five times the value my home was assessed for at the time of the Sause deal. That would translate into a sales price of $2,946,000.00. Wait a minute. I’m going to sweeten the pot. I’ll give the county every cent over that $589,210.00 assessed value. Please work quickly because the county could desperately use that two and a third million dollar profit.
And who knows, maybe I’ll even vote for you. No, wait a minute. I could never bring myself to do that and I’m going to bet that most Queen Anne’s County voters won’t either.
More to come.