Thursday, June 30, 2011

Apples and Oranges

I’ve been out of pocket today. I spent a little over half the day in Elkridge, at the golf course. It wasn’t a business outing either. It was just three guys who all grew up in Columbia in the early seventies deciding that it was as good time as any to take a  mental health day.

Since I was out I missed the earlier action on this post. I saw the messages on my phone but I didn't read any. The controversy still found me though, Mary Kay called when we were on the 7th hole. She was concerned that perhaps I didn't have complete information on the Columbia pools.

I rarely have complete information. It always seems that no matter what, there is always something I didn't know. I suggested to her that we talk later. Talking to a politician while golfing with guys who readily seize any opportunity to bust balls is not a good idea.

The only time the three of us talked about pools was on the green at the 13th hole. The last time we played here none of us knew what swim club that was just behind the green through a buffer of trees.

Now I know that's the Watermont Swim Club. The president of the Board of Directors of the Watermont Swim Club got used by Council Chair Calvin Ball at the legislative work session on CB30-2011, best known as the pools bill.

Since then there has been a good deal of chatter in HoCo about what is fair. I’ve now come to the conclusion that comparing the way private HoCo swim clubs are assessed for property taxes to the way Columbia Association pools are taxed is like trying to compare apples and oranges. Like those two fruit items, the only common variable here is water.

The other thing that amazingly almost everyone agrees with is that this tax credit will not solve the pools real crisis issue, aging infrastructure. The tax credit would be little more than a financial band aid.

What is really needed here is some sort of public private partnership to establish a low interest loan fund, exclusively dedicated to any private swim club or HOA pool in HoCo, for repairs and replacements of their physical plants. That would address the real need.
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