Kamenetz: People Are Tax Weary

With transportation funding cut and projects piling up, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz waits to see what options the state comes up with.

With a possible debate on an increased gas tax looming as part of the General Assembly session that begins Wednesday, you may be wondering if Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz is for it or against it.

As little as five years ago, Baltimore County was getting $45 million annually from the state for roads projects. But that figure has been slashed more than 90 percent to about $1.5 million in the current budget year.

Other jurisdictions around the state have seen nearly identical cuts. A gas tax could go a long way to alleviating that backlog.

"I think part of the problem here is that we're dealing with a lot of different taxes," said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz during a Jan. 8 appearance on the Middday with Dan Rodricks show on WYPR.

Kamenetz references increases in state sales taxes and federal payroll taxes that kicked in January 1 and now a proposed gas tax.

"I think it's a lot hitting people all at once and they're getting a little tax-weary," Kamenetz said. [Listen to the WYPR interview]

But the Baltimore County executive is also mindful that there is a backlog in road projects including road surfacing projects in the county he represents.

Kamenetz's on-air comments didn't sound like support or opposition to a possible gas tax increase.

"[Kamenetz] is open to a number of ideas but at this point in time he doesn't see that there's a lot of appetite for another tax increase," said Don Mohler, a spokesman for Kamenetz.

But don't read too much into it, Kamenetz isn't making a Shermanesque statement one way or the other.

It's more like a wait and see, said Mohler.

"The county executive recognizes the need for additional funds for transportation projects and will advocate for increased funding but he recognizes that this is a state legislative process and is respectful of that process," Mohler said, adding that the county executive "will weigh in on the issue at the appropriate time."

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kevin January 09, 2013 at 05:00 AM
Anyone read Michael whalen president of Whalen HVAC? Did anyone ever hear of this national company from Maryland? Or thew connection to the judge appointed in Prince Georges Mike Whalen? Wow all of a sudden ALL our schools need New air conditioning and guess what there is a major air conditioning company with offices across country based on eastern shore. WOW ,Imagine KK GIVING away North Point Goverment Property, O'Malley going for 336 million in Air conditioning for schools and a Whalen Company specializing in schools and goverment air conditioning related to a judge appointed in Prince Georges county . Shame !!!!
kevin January 09, 2013 at 05:16 AM
Frank, I know maybe you should follow the leads here.Read the Whalen Company heating and Air conditioning STORY of a successful Maryland Business .It holds patents on special cooling products for large office buildings and schools. They can outsource to shell companies and all Gov O'Malley and KK School air conditioning projects will probably make budget. RIP Mr. Jennings Follow the money Frank.
M. Sullivan January 09, 2013 at 09:22 AM
"Kamenetz...doesn't see that there is a lot of appetite for another tax increase." Duh, ya think?
Scott January 09, 2013 at 02:19 PM
FIFA January 09, 2013 at 02:25 PM
Small correction kevin, I believe the state is budgeting $25 million for air conditioning.
JDStuts January 09, 2013 at 03:29 PM
Funny how he is "respectful" of the state legislative process now. He didn't have that attitude when the county delegation was pushing for an elected school board and he did a end around with House Ways and Means Chairwoman Shelia Hixson. Mohler seems to think its okay for KK to play politics but when reporters, blogs and citizens call him on it they are simply naysayers.
J Garrett January 09, 2013 at 03:33 PM
Maybe if the county didn't waste money 'giving' away contracts to very lazy companies to do crap slurry seal on our roads we would have more money for real projects. Blame the state, the feds, whomever, but it is your county, and your money. Use is wisely, oh wait, the dems have no clue how to do that...
michael mooney January 09, 2013 at 06:07 PM
What I can't fathom is why we need air conditioning in schools anyway (or government buildings). When I attended school in the '70's in TEXAS we did not have air conditioning. We did something totally radical - we opened the windows and took in fresh air! We also survived. I did not walk into an air conditioned school building until my sophmore year of high school and even then found it uncomfortably cold (still do). I save hundreds of dollars a year having developed a comfort level that does not rely on the ozone depleting nuisiance of A/C.
M. Sullivan January 09, 2013 at 06:26 PM
People are Kamenetz Weary !
JDStuts January 09, 2013 at 08:36 PM
Comment of the day
PerryHallParent January 09, 2013 at 10:06 PM
Well, not everyone feels the same way as you and people can tolerate different levels of comfort. School years are longer now due to endless professional days and 3-4 day weekends now. I never went to school in August and certainly not in June, so that factored in as well back in those days. So it's all relative to how you feel about the temperatures personally. Not everyone is temperature neutral like you.
Paul Amirault January 09, 2013 at 10:09 PM
Isn't it just cheaper to change the school calendar by eliminating days and lengthening the school day then paying many millions for air conditioning?
John Therres January 10, 2013 at 12:25 AM
Why can't the state government collect money for the Transportation TRUST Fund and use it for transportation projects? By using the funds for their designated purpose the state would have to reveal where they are using the gasoline tax funds, the toll funds, etc....
Kamenetz Is Doing A Great Job January 10, 2013 at 05:59 PM
It is obvious that you have a blind hatred of Democrats and/or Kamenetz, so therefore your comments have little meaning to an objective reader.
Kamenetz Is Doing A Great Job January 10, 2013 at 05:59 PM
It is obvious that you have a blind hatred of Democrats and/or Kamenetz, so therefore your comments have little meaning to an objective reader.


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