Where’s the Money Going to Come From?
If you say no new taxes, what are you willing to give up?
Where’s the money coming from?
If you haven’t asked that question this week, you’re in the 99 percent.
And here come Uncle Sam and Uncle Peter, reminding us that tax day is just around the corner.
Taxes are a chilling thought, whether you’re the kind of tea partier who curves your little finger or the kind who wants to burn the boat, cargo and all. If you’d like to pay more taxes, you’re in the one percent of a different sort.
That’s a lonely place, and I don’t want to go there. Like yours, our family needs all the money we bring in. Our business, Bay Weekly, too.
But I can’t help wondering where’s the money going to come from to keep our greater family — and the family business in which we’re all shareholders — going. I worry about where the money’s coming from to pay for all the things we expect from Maryland.
I bet you do, too.
If you’ve got kids in public schools, Head Start through university, you worry about where the money’s going to come from to give them the education you want for them. Of course you don’t want to have to pay higher tuition and fees.
If you’ve got kids with disabilities, you worry about where the money’s going to come from to give them their best chance. You worry even more when they’re kids are over 21.
If you’re an arts group, like Maryland Federation of Arts, you worry about where’s the money going to come from to keep the lights on. Public money for the arts is a pool in the desert: dried up.
If you’re a reader, you worry where the money’s going to come from to keep your library doors open and its shelves, including its electronic shelves, well stacked.
If you’re a police officer or firefighter, you worry about risking your life on a job that’s squeezing you tighter all the time.
If you’re a citizen who needs the help of the police or firefighters, you want them at your beck and call — regardless of where the money’s going to come from.
If you’re an advocate for the homeless or a supporter of a food pantry, you wonder where the money’s going to come from to help you help others.
If you live in a water community, you wonder where the money’s going to come from to keep your channel dredged, your shoreline from eroding, perhaps your house from falling into the Bay.
If your septic system is failing, you worry about where the money’s going to come to buy you a new nitrogen-reducing system.
If you drive a car, you worry where the money’s going to come from to fill the potholes.
If you’d rather not drive a car so much, you worry where the money will come from to make public transportation work better for more of us.
If you love open space, you’ll be endorsing the email that just popped into my inbox: “Partners for Open Space release a report documenting that land conservation funds are needed now more than ever at both the state and local levels.”
If you’re a fisherman or boater, as Dennis Doyle writes this week in The Sporting Life, you worry where the money’s going to come from to keep navigational aids in service or trout stocked or crabs counted or poachers caught.
If you’re a friend of the Bay, you’re really worried about where the money’s going to come from to make all the fixes we need to hand a healthy ecosystem over to your children and grandchildren.
My point’s a simple one. Each one of us has a special interest so dear to our heart that we know it should be the exception when funding fails.
Why does funding fail? Because nobody wants to pay more taxes.
Like you, I’ve been following Gov. Martin O’Malley’s budget proposal. Like you, I’ve said ouch more than once. Like you, if the governor’s proposals are accepted by the General Assembly, I’ll be paying still more to fill up my gas tank. I’ll be paying a bigger flush tax. I’ll soon be paying more to re-register my boat.
Like you, I want to say No New Taxes!
But where will we find the money for the commonweal we share?
That question has me stumped.
Do you have better answers? I want to hear them.
Write me at email@example.com.
Sandra Olivetti Martin
Bay Weekly Editor & Publisher