WHAT IS BALLOT QUESTION B?
Question B limits how much revenue Montgomery County could bring in from property and strips our elected councilmembers of their power to override the imposed limit, even if an emergency or some essential public services required an override vote. Make sure to vote AGAINST.
INFO & HISTORY.
What is Question B?
Question B is a ballot question that will appear on Montgomery County voters’ ballots this fall. Voters in the county will need to answer FOR or AGAINST to the question when they vote to elect the next Montgomery County Board of Elections and President of the United States. Vote AGAINST.
Who is behind Question B?
Question B is the brainchild of Robin Ficker, a notorious right-wing idealogue and extremist whose past activism has already begun posing problems for the County Council during the ongoing pandemic and economic crisis. Given his substantial personal wealth, this attack on school children, essential workers, public safety and public health is particularly harsh, especially given the ongoing public health emergency.
Who is opposing Question B?
A broad, local coalition of neighbors is opposing Question B for what it would do to our county, especially our children, our local schools, and our emergency services. We are residents, neighbors, colleagues and friends. We are people who work in our schools, parents whose children attend our schools, and members of local unions and non-profit organizations. You can learn more about each of our partner organizations by clicking on their logo.
What would Question B do?
Question B seeks to do two things. The first would be to limit how much revenue Montgomery County could bring in from real property. The second would be to strip residents’ elected councilmembers of their power to override the imposed limit, even if an emergency or some essential public services required an override vote.
Bad news in the time of COVID-19.
The myth of Question B is that it is a cost cutting measure or something designed to lower taxes or stop government spending. The plain language of Question B gives the game away. Question B limits how much revenue Montgomery County can take in, regardless of tax rates, from one year to the next. This means that whether rates go up, down, or stay the same, county government is artificially limited in how much revenue it can bring in. Changes in the local economy or other factors aren’t even considered.
By placing an artificial cap on revenue, Question B would strangle essential services, from firehouses to public health. Worst of all, because it strips elected councilmembers of their override powers, Question B takes away the voices of county residents in future budgets.
What would be the other consequences of Question B?
In addition to threatening our schools and our ability to fund emergency services and public health during this pandemic, Question B would almost certainly cause our county’s AAA bond rating to be downgraded. The why is simple. Question B needlessly starves the county of revenue and revokes elected councilmembers’ right to correct for a fiscal imbalance.
In short, Question B puts Montgomery County at risk of falling short on its financial obligations in the eyes of current and future investors -- and for no good reason at all.
If we want to maintain our coveted AAA bond rating, we need to VOTE AGAINST. It’s the only way we can service our bonds and maintain our county’s hard earned reputation for good governance and fiscal responsibility.
Presentation on Ballot Questions A and B by Frank Santos of the Montgomery County DSA