No Evidence to Support “Growth Equals Economic Prosperity”
April 14, 2010 by FofFC
Filed under Frederick, Municipal Growth: addressing the hidden costs of sprawl in New Market, Testify
Testimony presented before the Frederick County Board of Commissioners and Frederick City Mayor and Aldermen, April 13th 7pm Winchester Hall
In spite of what developers say, there is no empirical evidence to support that growth equals economic prosperity for our community.
After all, many of Frederick’s fiscal challenges are a direct result of poorly planned and irresponsible development over the past 20 years. Granted, growth increases the tax base, but most often costs more than it gains. In city after city across the country and in Maryland, there is much evidence to confirm that growth does not provide a tax surplus but actually puts communities in a negative budget position. In Frederick alone, for every dollar a new resident pays in taxes, the county pays out $ 1.14 to cover the additional services required. And this information is from a 1997 local economic report. We can expect that 13 years later, the pay out is even more in 2010 dollars. One can see that, over the years, our deficit grows larger and larger, and as a result, current residents receive less in return for our tax dollar.
All one has to do is ask those affected by the erosion of our schools, the stress on our emergency services, and the inability of our current road system to safely manage the ever-increasing volume of traffic to see that this myth perpetrated is exactly that - a myth intended to miscommunicate and undermine the truth.
I call upon all of our elected officials to act fiscally responsible and embrace the tenets of the new Comprehensive Plan that provides the basis for balanced and sustainable growth for the entire Frederick community. I also would like to applaud the County Commissioners and Staff for their leadership and bravery, yes bravery, in standing up for what is fiscally right.
Ed Hinde, Frederick City resident