Let me make sure I understand this. For many, many years, the State recognized that it imposed numerous burdens on local governments without giving those governments sufficient taxing flexibility. This recognition came in the form of the property tax relief credit and the homestead credit — these State subsidies reduced property taxes. Then, in 2005 and 2007, these credits were reduced by the General Assembly, effectively balancing the State budget on the backs of the counties. Reduction of these credits is a significant part of the huge property tax increases. So now we find out the State is projecting a billion dollar surplus.
This is not a case of those dumb counties outspending their means only to have their hand out when the fiscally responsible State has a surplus. Nope, these jacked up property taxes are directly related to the State surplus. If the State had not reduced the property tax replacement and homestead credit, the surplus would be less and so would the necessary property tax increases.
I could run a surplus too if I had the power to stop paying for the the things I demand.
At least that’s the way I see it. I’m not a tax expert. I welcome evidence that my analysis is flawed.