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BOOOOO. No raiding!

Our government needs to get a grip on spendiing to balance the budget instead of taking monies away from dedicatied land preservation funds and green programs.

I never understand how some states get away with no income tax or sales tax (or both!) and we are so highly taxed .. for what!?


Who gives them the right to raid funds from ANY program????
This practice is absurd..................................!

I insist that the only way to stop these maurauders is to let the BAY become a national /heritage program..nobody steals from the National Park must have dedicated funds. Look to Biscayne Bay, Cape Cod National seashore..or across the country..Yellowstone etc.

Obviously the Assembly isn't interested in preservation or leaving a legacy for the future of the Bay. The Bay is their "sloppy seconds." It is our responsibility to remember these "raids" at election time.

Campain to "Save the Bay" but take the fundiung away from MDE, DNE, Open Space. Sound like any elected officlas we know in Maryland?

You have made a very powerful point regarding the meaning of dedicated and done so in a manner (and with a choice of words) very palatable to legislators. Tough choices are ahead but a steady and rational voice from the environmental profession is just what we need to prevail. Keep up your good work.

Maryland should consider changing how it funds open space to replicate what New Jersey has done for the past 40 years. In New Jersey all open space funds are guaranteed by the issuance of bonds (debt). Over the past 40 years, whenever funding was required, the legislature authorized a voters’ referendum asking the electorate to decide via a non-binding referendum whether they would approve debt (i.e., tax themselves) dedicated to preserving and conserving open space. Each and every voter’s referendum since the beginning of NJ’s Green Acres Program has been approved, including last November’s $400 million public question. And every time, over the past four decades, the legislature has passed bills authorizing the debt (a dedicated source of funds) and the sitting governor has signed the bills.

If Maryland were to follow New Jersey’s lead, the funding for open space would become a dedicated source of money that is independent of economic conditions and untouchable by the legislature to close budget shortfalls. Under Maryland’s current approach, funding is highly variable and dependent upon the real estate transfer tax and the whims of the legislature. So when economic conditions are bad, such as now, the open space cash falls off considerably (bad enough) and then the legislature reduces its budgetary shortfall by robbing the already depleted fund.

With a dedicated source of untouchable funding a la the successful New Jersey model, Maryland could use available moneys to fund more open space during periods of depressed real estate market conditions. In other words, Maryland could preserve and conserve more natural lands, forests, agriculture, wildlife management areas and add parkland and/or facilities. Likewise, more money could be allocated toward counties and municipalities to accomplish more than from the current reduced and “raidable” funding source.

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