If you’ve seen this vehicle driving around South Towson, you’ve probably wondered what it is.

It’s an electric solar powered neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) called the E3. It is part of a beta test of a new model called the E3 developed by an entrepreneur in Denver, CO. The E3 is manufactured to US specifications in Qing Dao, China. The factory’s main export markets for similar platforms are India and Turkey.

Why 3 wheels and a handlebar?

The E3’s “tuk-tuk” platform is ubiquitous throughout Asia, and that high global volume means a lower cost platform for an NEV’s.  The vehicles are highly maneuverable and mechanically simple. The weight of the batteries lowers the center of gravity and makes the vehicle a lot more stable than it appears. Clearly this isn’t as safe as a car, but it’s a lot safer than a motorcycle.

Benefits: Zero Emissions and Low Costs

The E3 is designed for short trips that don’t require going on highways or roads over 35mph, hence the name neighborhood electric vehicles. It could reduce wear and tear on a large family car, or be used as a local delivery vehicle. The targeted functionality is:

  • Zero emission electric vehicle
  • Supports 4 passengers
  • 30-40 mile range
    • 100 amp solar panel extends range and reduces cosT
  • 250+ mile per gallon cost equivalent (@$2.75/ gallon).
    • MPG equivalent increases with more solar / metered electricity
  • 30-35 mph top speed
  • Cost less than $5k

What do you think? Would this sort of product interest you? Do you have ideas of your own?  Send me an email to stephenmcintire4MD@gmail.com.

MD’s Regulatory Environment is Hostile to Alternate Vehicles

The E3 has been successfully licensed and registered as a motor scooter in Colorado and California. Maryland law is however overly bureaucratic and prescriptive in how vehicles are classified and registered.

Del. Lafferty co-sponsored a bill in 2012 (HB-149) that increase taxes on mopeds and require moped owners purchase liability insurance, it was part of the O’Malley agenda to tax and regulate anything that moved. The $100 a year a moped owner pays for insurance pads the insurance companies bottom line as few claims for damage-by-moped are ever paid out.

Lafferty’s bill made an efficient, low-cost form transportation more trouble than it was worth to most owners, so the state collects little money for the burden it imposes on its people. The bill also inadvertently banned electric bikes for several years until the legislature corrected their mistake, and established Maryland’s overly rigid regulatory structure.

Encouraging Innovation in Alternate Vehicles

Climate change is a serious risk and demands a serious response. Part of that response should be to encourage entrepreneurial experimentation in efficiency improvements, including alternative vehicles. While there is a clear case for regulating emissions and taxing carbon consumption to reflect its true cost to the planet, this is an example of how less regulation and more individual liberty could help the environment immensely.

Unnecessary or badly designed regulation makes it impossible for small scale entrepreneurs to develop innovative new products. If it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal compliance or lobbying expenses to create an innovative product, only large established companies or wealthy individuals will be able to take the risk (and receive the financial rewards). Established car companies have little desire to create low-cost alternatives that cannibalize their automobile sales.

As Delegate, I will promote policies make Maryland a leader in innovative clean energy technology, including alternate vehicles. This requires a regulatory environment that encourages entrepreneurship. My understanding and expertise is why I’ve been endorsed by Maryland Businesses for Responsive Government, the most prominent business group in Annapolis. We can do better with a little bit of reform and common sense.

A Tale of Two Cities- Education Reform in Philadelphia, Status-quo in Baltimore

Baltimore and Philadelphia share a similar economic history, with a downward spiral beginning after World War II and continuing for half a century. But after losing a quarter of its population, Philadelphia turned the corner and began growing in 2000. Baltimore continued to bleed population, losing over 35,000 more residents between 2000 and 2018 while Philadelphia gained 50,000.

Philadelphia’s success is all the more remarkable because it was objectively worse off than Baltimore by almost every metric (see chart at bottom for detailed comparison). 

  • Philadelphia has significantly higher taxes and a less competitive tax structure compared to its suburbs.
  • Both cities had comparable rates of deep poverty and segregation.
  • Philadelphia actually had a more serious violent crime problem than Baltimore in the early 2000’s.
  • Philadelphia’s government is more bloated and corrupt.
  • Philadelphia receives significantly less state support than Baltimore.
  • Both cities saw an exodus of large home-town corporate headquarters in the 1980’s and 90’s.

So what’s different? Philadelphia’s Education reform and PA’s Charter School Act

Philadelphia’s Y2K embrace of charter schools was not voluntarily. Its politicians had long used the school bureaucracy as a dumping ground for patronage corruption. The school district was effectively insolvent in 2000, even before the recession hit.  Republicans controlled all branches of PA government. They bailed out Philadelphia schools, but demanded accountability & fiscal responsibility. Philadelphia’s central bureaucracy was reduced by over 50%. PA also passed one of the most pro-charter school laws in the US, giving parents in a failing schools real choice.

There are now over 60,000 students in various forms of charters in Philadelphia, 1/3rd of the district. That’s at least 60,000 parents who chose charters. How many of them would have fled the City if they were given no other choice?

On the other hand, Maryland’s charter school law, passed in 2005, is one of the worst in the US. Charters are completely controlled by local school bureaucracies who sees their success as a threat, or an unfair threat to “equity” that must be eliminated.  Philadelphia charters operate with real autonomy, answering to state regulators and parents.

Big Difference #2: 10 Year Tax Abatements

Philadelphia created a broad policy of giving anyone and everyone who undertook a substantial renovation a 10 year abatement on the value of improvements.There is no need to lobby your councilperson. The abatement is a right by law.

Abatements were an extremely clever policy that tricked new residents into Philadelphia’s tax trap. The City had a dozen other ways to milk its new residents, including a 4% City income tax, 10% City liquor-by-the-drink tax, a 2% city sales tax surcharge, etc.  Few people, especially young people who wanted to buy a home in the City anyway, thoroughly considered the massive tax-increase 10 years in the future.

Tax Abatements Draw in New Residents, But School Choice Retains Them 

Baltimore and Philadelphia both faced the same demographics- the baby boomers’ echo, a generation raised predominantly in the suburbs, sought a more urban lifestyle. After the Republican takeover of the US House of Representatives in 1994, a longstanding policy prohibiting the destruction of public housing was repealed, paving the way for the revitalization of vast sections of the City.  In Philadelphia, I moved onto 22nd and Fitzwater South Street, seven blocks from a notorious HUD tower that had just been torn down.  The vicious cycle of blight, disinvestment and middle-class flight exacerbated by HUD’s public housing reversed itself within a couple of years.Tax abatements supported the redevelopment of neighborhoods that had seen little investment in decades.  Several hundred million dollars of home equity was created for the predominantly African American property owners.

Charters vs. Public Schools Aren’t a Zero Sum Game

Charter schools are often criticized as undermining public schools. In my former neighborhood, the opposite was true. New residents brought racial and socio-economic diversity to a school that had been predominantly poor and 100% African American. These new residents preferred to send their kids to the neighborhood public school. School choice reduced the risk of this decision. Parents know if they faced a problem, they had many options other than moving to the suburbs. Parents knew that they would not be limited to the troubled, dangerous middle school they were districted into. The local public school’s principal and teachers made real effort to reach out to parents and assure them that their kids would be safe and well educated. Bureaucrats at the school district were deterred from imposing foolish or faddish policies throughout the district. When parents have the power to say “No” to failure, they will very often say, “Yes” to public schools.  

Here in Baltimore, parental choice is extremely limited. Parents who may be willing to take a risk on a neighborhood elementary school understand they are most likely only deferring a move to the suburbs when it’s time for middle-school. The sad fact is even where principals and teachers are working miracles turning around struggling schools, North Avenue’s reputation  drives away many parents who can afford to leave.

Charters and parental choice aren’t a silver bullet. But what Baltimore is doing clearly doesn’t work. The highly centralized, bureaucratized model of school management has failed. A broad swathe of City neighborhoods are served by schools that are total failures, where not a single kid out of thousands achieves basic proficiency. This is a real injustice, and we need to begin addressing it with systemic reform that transfers power from Ed bureaucrats & social engineers to parents.

Metric Baltimore Philadelphia
Taxes City sales tax None 2%
City income tax .37% residents

0.0% non-residents

3.8907% residents

3.4654% non-residents

Business income (2) None 6.35% net income
Property tax (3) +1.25% (2.35% vs 1.1%) ~.3% less than suburbs
Misc. City Nuisance Taxes

 

Licensing bureaucracy Licensing bureaucracy

$.015/ ounce beverages (incl. diet)

$2/ pack cigarettes

10% liquor-by-the drink

~50% premium on nat. gas (due to mismanaged city utility)

Population Historic Decline

(1950-2000)

298,554 residents (-31.4%) 553,450 residents (-26.7%)
Millenial Renaissance

(2000-2016)

-36,489/ -5.6%

2016: 614,664

+50,322/ +3.3%

2016: 1,567,872

Median home value/

% owner occupied (6)

$152,400

47.1%

$145,300

52.1%

Median income/

Poverty rate

$38,253

24.

State Support State political environment Supportive:

D super-majority (50 yrs)

D Gov (42/50 years)

Not Supportive:

R State Senate since 1994

R Gen. Assembly 30/36 years

School funding per pupil $16,731

 

$13,861
% state funded  

82%

 

53.2%

Schools Number of Students 80,592 204,460
State law ranking

(Center for Education Reform)

 

 

F: 44 out of 45 states

Act 22 Passed 1997

C: 18 out of 45 states

  1. Difference with suburbs for Baltimore is with Baltimore County. PA taxes at township level. For Philadelphia, comparison is with Lower Merion Township on border of city.

Save MD Families $$$ Fighting Big Pharma

What if we could save MD parents millions of dollars, at no cost to taxpayers, paid for by noted  pirate Mylan Pharmaceuticals?  We can, with a little reform & common sense.

State law is one reason back to school season is expensive for parents of kids with allergy— parents are currently required to provide an epi-pen auto-injector to the school nurse. If you have two kids with allergies, you need to buy two epi-pens, at a cost of around $600. Because a badly designed state law requires that each kid’s name is on their device. This makes no sense.

Since the epi-pen expires after a year, state law will force parents to waste thousands of dollars over a 12 year BCPS, money parents could save for college.

The Maryland legislature can help a lot of parents, without burdening taxpayers. This isn’t some magical Ben Jealous style thinking. It is a common sense solution. Here’s how:

  1. Purchase Epinephrone as the first line of defense

The cost of epinephrone, the drug in an epi-pen, costs $5 a dose. The auto-injector hardware that enables an untrained person to safely administer the drug costs $300. Why does the state mandate the most expensive option that has to be purchased from a monopoly provider.

  1. Empower school nurses

School nurses in Maryland are highly skilled professionals. They have the ability to administer epinephrone without the “auto-injector”. But they are currently prohibited by state law from doing their job in the most sensible manner possible. If you go to a Doctor’s office, someone less qualified than a BCPS nurse would give you an epinephrone injection, not an epi-pen.

  1. Save taxpayers money by using costly epi-pens as second line of defense

Schools in MD already purchase epi-pens to accommodate kids whose allergies are unknown or whose parents cannot provide the medication. This is a good thing, but epi-pens should be used as a back-up when the school nurse is unavailable. Right now, the state is buying these expensive auto-injectors as the first line of defense, wasting MD taxpayers and padding Mylan Pharmaceuticals bottom line.

The state will save money from not using the expensive device when it’s not needed.

  1. Give parents choice

If parents are concerned about a nurse administering ephedrine, they are free to continue buying brand name epi-pens and providing it to the school, just as they do now.

There are serious problems with pharmaceutical industry in the US. Pricing scams that take old drugs and increase the cost by 1000%. FDA regulations that limit generic competition. Primarily due to the negative publicity surrounding epi-pen price increases, the FDA finally approved a generic competitor. Although this may ultimately reduce price, but parents will still be wasting money every year.

There’s no reason MD parents and taxpayers should be enriching some pharma pirate’s bottom line when common-sense alternatives are available. We should change the law.

Vote reform and common sense. There’s no excuse why state government can’t work for its people.

 

 

Fix the York Road Bottleneck

Towson residents wasting time due to poor planning and leadership.

A billion dollars worth of development in Towson means we need to FIX THE YORK ROAD BOTTLENECK. The public infrastructure needs to keep up with private development.

There is a $100+ million science wing going in at TU. Towson High will undergo a major renovation that will increase its size, and the traffic turning onto Aigburth. Towson Row is a $300 million development a couple blocks north on York Road.  Hundreds of new apartments are planned in downtown Towson.

If there’s one thing that unites Democrats & Republicans, it’s getting caught on behind a bus and a guy turning left on Aigburth from York. York is a state road. Towson U is a state institution. This is a state responsibility. As Delegate, I will fix this problem. This isn’t rocket science, it’s a turn lane that should have been planned years ago.

Unlike many other road improvements, the land acquisition for this project is straightforward and inexpensive. It requires Towson University relinquishing a relatively small piece of its lawn. They recognize this problem. Their employees and students suffer with Towson residents in back-ups.

Towson needs leadership to make sure development works for the people who live here.

Sound Fiscal Policy

What sound fiscal management looks like[/caption]

MD just reported a $504 million surplus, driven by a robust national economy and capital gains receipts from record high stock market valuations.  Governor Hogan and Comptroller Franchot deserve credit for strong fiscal management after O’Malley’s tax and spending binge.

The good news- the state’s current surplus should increase even more next year. The bad news- at least $600 million of next year’s surplus will come from two major stealth tax increaseson MD residents.  

  • MD consumers will start paying at least $300 million in sales tax for online purchases following the recent Supreme Court decision allowing states to tax out-of-state sales.
  • MD taxpayers will pay approximately $300 million a year more to the state due to Federal Tax Reform’s elimination of various deductions.

This year’s $500 million cyclical surplus should be used mostly for investments, not permanently ramping up spending.  The $600 million coming from stealth tax increases should be refunded to taxpayers.  After O’Malley’s record spending binge, the legislature needs to protect MD residents from paying even more of their income to Annapolis. 

This is a good government approach to fiscal policy. Which is why Annapolis machine pols like Del. Lafferty oppose it. Instead, they will try to permanently increase the size of government during these good times, fully knowing that they are setting up a major tax increase when the economic cycle inevitably turns.

Current Surplus should be Focused on Investment

Most of the $500 million surplus will be non-recurring, I propose allocating the bulk of the surplus to the following major spending categories, which should also be non-recurring:

Increase Capital Investment in School Construction

Every Baltimore County legislator should support an increase in state aid to Counties for school construction.  Without this, the County will have difficulty funding much needed renovation of aging schools like Towson High without a property tax increase.  Increasing state aid also frees up County education spending for other initiative 

Paydown Pension Debt  

MD has a $19 billion unfunded pension liabilities. Although we’re not facing the fiscal calamity that afflicts “blue” states like CT, IL, CA or NJ, our pension liability still works out to $8,600 in debt for every family in MD, much higher for Towson residents who pay proportionately more than average taxes.

We need to fund pensions today to make good on past promises to state employees and retirees.  We need to stop politicians’ habit of kicking the cost of today’s promises onto future taxpayers.

Protecting MD Residents against Coming “Stealth” Tax Increases 

O’Malley increased state taxes by approximately $3 billion a year. The coming stealth tax increases will add another $600 million to that total.

We should use the coming “stealth” tax revenue to begin reversing some of O’Malley’s most harmful taxes, focusing on taxes that put MD at a competitive disadvantage to its neighbors. I’d try to focus tax reform efforts on the following categories:

Reduce Business Income Tax: $120 million

O’Malley increased business taxes from 7% to 8.25%, exacerbating the competitive disadvantage with our neighbors. VA’s business tax rate is 6% and PA is 3.4% for LLC’s.  Reversing 7%, MD’s tax structure will become less of a competitive disadvantage versus our neighbors.

Reverse O’Malley’s 2012 Income Tax Hike: $250 million 

O’Malley increased income taxes multiple times, most recently in 2012 when exemptions were eliminated and tax rates raised from 4.75% to 5.25%.  Even after this modest step, over half of O’Malley’s personal income tax increases would remain in place.

Retiree Income Tax Cut: fiscal impact TBD ~100 million

Gov. Hogan exempted the first $15,000 of public safety officer’s retirement income from state taxes. We should extend this exemption to all retirees. PA does not tax retirement income at all. VA has a $12,000 exemption. MD should help retirees who often live on fixed incomes and contribute tax revenue without utilizing costly services like schools.

Steve McIntire is candidate for House of Delegates in 42A. He studied Public Policy and Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and has been a CFA Charterholder.  

The Machine’s History of Deception in Baltimore’s Public Housing

Yes, this was ridiculous. And 100% wrong.

With County politicians John Olzewski, Steve Lafferty and Eric Bromwell committed to making Baltimore County the largest public housing relocation experiment in the United States, it’s worth considering the long history of machine politicians deceiving the public about this project, hiding disastrous results behind self-professed good intentions.

In 1950, Baltimore City debated whether to become one of the largest public housing experiments in the United States by building 10,000 units of new public housing. Baltimore’s industrial economy had already entered a decades long decline immediately following WWII, and with it employment opportunities for the large low-skilled workforce that had migrated into the City during the war. Population loss would soon follow. The 1950 Census was the City’s high point with 950 thousand residents. It would lose over a third of its population over the next 68 years,some  335,000 people.

But City political machine was firmly on the side of public housing. Machine pols could not resist the lure of controlling billions of dollars. And they weren’t shy about deliberately misleading the public to get their way. Take a look at the arguments made during that 1950 debate, from the newspaper ads above.  

Baltimore City Machine’s 1950 Sales Pitch for Public Housing:

  • Public housing will reduce crime and juvenile delinquency

    Arguments against public housing were based on reason, and turned out 100% correct.

  • Wouldn’t reduce tax revenues by more than 2.5%
  • But the City will actually make money through sound operations of housing projects
  • The projects will be beautiful and modern
  • Everyone else is doing it. This is progresss

Public Housing Opponents Predicted the Projects would:

  • Increase City property taxes
  • Reduce property values in surrounding neighborhoods
  • Not be focused on slums, but be spread throughout the City
  • Not help poor people

Anyone who’s lived in Baltimore knows that every objection to the program turned out correct, sadly understating the actual damage to City neighborhoods. The false assurances and manipulation the City political machine used to sell this program to voters are just as obvious. And when the projects quickly devolved into blight, City politicians never reconsidered, continuing to spread some 18,000 units to every corner of the City, even as hundreds of thousands of residents fled the City.

Blaming Baltimore County Residents for the City Machine’s Mistake

It is popular now to blame Baltimore County for the City’s failure. This historic guilt narrative is the heart of the ACLU/NAACP case that resulted in Kamenetz settlement. Baltimore County residents in 2016 were deemed guilty of discrimination for not building public housing projects in the 1960’s and 70’s.

County Voters Made the Right Decision Saying “No” to HUD projects

Having watched Baltimore ring its downtown with highrise public housing, replacing slums with worse slums, then spreading that blight throughout City neighborhoods, why would County voters do anything other than say, “No” to HUD public housing projects? It was objectively the correct choice for the County.

It’s impossible today to deny the City’s public housing experiment was a catastrophic failure. Divining the racist intent of voters from County voters 50 years ago is a manipulative trick to deny responsibility for the program’s terrible design and disastrous results. The architects  pretend that it would have worked if only it could have been spread to Baltimore County.

Of course, most County voters would have remembered the completely false promises the City Machine deployed to sell the original program.  They would have seen that machine double down on failure and continue to build more.

The City’s Disastrous Public Housing Program Was a Real Injustice

The harm of Baltimore’s public housing program to the City and its people was immense. It is clear that Baltimore’s public housing experiment trapped tens of thousands of the poorest Americans in multi-generational poverty. Most came here seeking opportunity or to contribute to the war effort. They were enticed to stay with the offer of free government housing just as opportunity was leaving. It’s worth noting that the public housing supporters weren’t interested in Baltimore County back in 1950. That only developed in the 1960’s, after its failure in Baltimore City had become obvious.  This is the fallacy of central planning. But Central planning is at the core of HUD’s DNA.

Untold billions of dollars in home equity was destroyed in communities near the new projects, disproportionately harming African American homeowners. Due to the explicitly racist Davis-Bacon act (which still commands unanimous Democratic support at the federal level), all-white trade unions built and maintained the new projects, depriving African American residents of the ability to use their own labor in their own communities, develop valuable trade skills, and build wealth from construction businesses.

The logical consequence of adding some 15,000 units of badly designed, poorly managed public housing into a declining market was predictable—  exacerbating a vicious downward spiral of private vacancy, blight, disinvestment and middle-class flight that has plagued the City for seven decades.

Baltimore City’s public housing program might have been a disaster for its neighborhoods. But it worked very well for Baltimore City’s political machine. The machine protects its own power above all else. Administering billions of dollars allowed the machine to collect cash from vendors and votes from communities that became entirely dependent on government.

Lafferty & Olzewski’s Plan for Baltimore County is Disingenuous & Dangerous

Lafferty and Olzewski created the Home Act to finally give the City’s central planners and social engineers what they have wanted since the 1960’s— unaccountable power to impose their public housing schemes on Baltimore County.

Instead of the failed City projects of old, they plan a massive relocation plan using Section 8 vouchers. Just as in 1950, The Home Act is sold on a deliberate falsehood—that a Section 8 voucher is income. It invents a nasty sounding concept called, “Source of Income Discrimination” that it pretends to ban. Of course Section 8 is not income. It’s a HUD program, giving HUD power over every lease term governing the landlord tenant relationship. A landlord choosing not to participate in a HUD program is not “discrimination”; the program’s voluntary design is the only check on HUD’s power.

ACLU Led Group Runs Baltimore Section 8 Program

In 2012 HUD outsourced control over Baltimore’s voucher program to a group of unaccountable central planners created by the ACLU, an all-star team of extreme ideologues. They call themselves the Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership. Despite answering to no elected officials whatsoever, the BRHP will receive over $50 million a year for 20 years from the Federal Government. Baltimore County, the largest jurisdiction in the region has no role in this regional partnership other than being its target.

The Home Act is designed to give the BRHP unchecked power over Baltimore County’s housing market. With the power to force every landlord to participate in their voucher program, the BRHP can achieve its objective of moving tens of thousands of people around the region like dots on a map.

Right now, the BRHP pays voucher recipients more to move to certain neighborhoods while prohibiting voucher holders from living in others altogether. Important decisions of which neighborhoods to target are undertaken entirely in secret. If their schemes cause problems for the communities they target, they’re insulated from any accountability whatsoever. The arrogance and elitism of central planners knows no bounds.

Don’t Make a Historic Mistake in 2018!

The secret Kamenetz deal with the ACLU has already made Baltimore County the epicenter of the largest Section 8 relocation program in the United States, covering over 5,100 families. The people who sued us called this settlement described it as a “first step”.

If Olzewski is elected County Executive we’ll find out what those next steps are, most likely from another collusive settlement to secret litigation.

Lafferty and Bromwell will continue their effort to empower failed central planners and social engineers with unchecked power over their constituents’ neighborhoods. In 2017, they successfully pushed the Home Act through the House with a veto-proof majority. Next year, without common-sense Democrats like Jim Brochin in the Senate, their bill is likely to become law.

Lafferty, Olzewski and Bromwell are machine politicians. Bringing Baltimore City’s one-party malgovernance to Baltimore County will work for them. Even if it won’t work for the diverse people of Baltimore County.  But the machine’s schemes will only succeed if voters are manipulated and kept in the dark. Please help spread the word about this betrayal of County voters, get involved, and VOTE FOR REFORM & COMMON SENSE.

Steve McIntire, Candidate for House of Delegates in 42A

Towson’s Greenway is the Beginning of Something Great

Six Bridges Trail

Herring Run Trail

I wanted to reiterate my support for the Six Bridges Trail project. As a candidate for House of Delegates, I would do everything possible to support projects like Six Bridges that benefit Towson while protecting our natural environment.

Six Bridges is a shining example of grassroots community leadership. By leveraging Maryland’s longstanding commitment to restore the Chesapeake Bay, we can also create valuable green amenities at a relatively low cost to taxpayers.

This is why Six Bridges is a template for smart public policy that should be replicated across the state, a high benefit/ low cost project that will drive a virtuous cycle of environmental protection, community improvements, and increased property values.  This virtuous cycle works like this:

  1. Protect the Bay

Reducing the flow of nutrients into the bay requires more land adjacent to streams that can absorb runoff. The impetus for this project was the acquisition of homes that were built too near to Herring Run.

  1. Create a Valuable Green Amenity for Towson’s Neighborhoods

Imagine the benefits of a trail system bringing the neighborhoods east of York Road together, connecting Radebaugh Park in Towson to Overlook Park, and Stoneleigh School with Towson High.  Along this 3 mile trail there would be native vegetation, pocket parks with playground equipment, and natural alcoves curated by community members.

  1. Increase Property Values in Communities Near Trail

The benefits of a trail system will be more broadly shared than would be the case with a central park.  Homes with direct access to the trails will see significant increase in property values, but hundreds of homes within easy walking distance will also become more attractive.

  1. Expand Resources Available to Protect the Bay

Increased property values will further efforts to protect the Bay. The public value of the trail offsets the cost of environmental remediation. The success of Six Bridges will encourage other upstream communities to pursue similar projects.

Creating Green Amenities at a Low Cost to Taxpayers

Policymakers have to consider the costs along with the benefits.  The cost of acquiring landis usually the most significant cost of a new park.  But land located near streams that is prone to flooding or undevelopable is the lowest cost land in a given area.

This low-cost dynamic makes projects like Six Bridges a great deal for taxpayers.  are worth pursuing even without the clear environmental benefits they bring.

A Long-Term Vision: Towson to the Chesapeake Bay

From Radebaugh Park, Herring Run extends another mile to Overlook Park, and then another 10 miles to the Back River.

Imagine travelling from Towson to the Chesapeake Bay along a natural trail. When you look at the map, you realize this is not a pipe dream. Approximately 90% of Herring Run’s course is already publicly owned. Multiple spurs could connect other parks, streams, and trail systems. Six Bridges could be the beginning transformative project, not just for Towson but for a broad swathe of Baltimore.

We Need to Move Forward Now on Six Bridges

Grand visions should not detract from immediate action. Baltimore County should move forward with the proposed Six Bridges Trail project between Stevenson Lane and Radebaugh Park immediately.  The most expensive element, the purchase and teardown of five houses in the flood zone at Stevenson Lane is already done.  Now, we need to commit finishing the project and realizing the full value for the residents of East Towson. .

As a State Delegate I will prioritize the success of Six Bridges, and seek to replicate this innovative concept throughout the state.

Sincerely,

Stephen A McIntire, Candidate for House of Delegates, LD 42A

Ben Jealous and Del. Steve Lafferty Want a Tax Tsunami for Single-Payer Healthcare Scheme

Analysts are reporting that Ben Jealous’ pie-in-the-sky single-payer healthcare plan would cost Maryland $24 Billion dollars — per year.

That is $24 Billion with a “B” per year.

Luke Broadwater reporting from the Baltimore Sun estimates this cost to mean $2,800 in new taxes per year on EVERY Maryland family plus a 10% income tax hike!

Ben Jealous’ plan is bad enough, but Del. Steve Lafferty has been championing this idea for a while now.

He sponsored HB 1516 last year for government run healthcare. It was too extreme even for the MD House of Delegates, at least in an election year.

So do you want to pay $2800 per family member AND 10% of your income to help grow their political machine?