In Annapolis, economic growth has come to a virtual standstill and tax revenues are insufficient to balance the city budget. This stagnation has led to an unemployment situation which has been linked to a sharp rise in crime statistics. It has already forced the City council to confront choices: to either raise taxes or cut City services. We already seen a call to increase the number of police officers and can you imagine even higher taxes which have already chased people from our community. What or who will be forced to bear the burden of poor fiscal planning and a no-growth agenda by those of privilege? Annapolis deserves better choices than this.
We, as members of Annapolis community, must take a stand and rally around the idea of creating jobs, and bringing in businesses that can provide a good living to the members of our community in need of employment. Time and time again there have been businesses wanting to establish themselves in our city, but were forced out by the false idea of too much growth.
For example, because Westfield Annapolis Mall was pushed out of our city, over $23 million in tax revenue was lost in the last five years. The Annapolis Towne Center could have been a City project as well. It is here and frequented by Annapolitans who do not benefit from its tax revenue.Such projects are immensely beneficial, and yet are routinely halted, often by activists residing outside of our city. Fortunately, Annapolis can encourage responsible development opportunities which balance economic development with good land planning.
The City of Annapolis needs to understand that the majority of its residents are trying to make a good life for their families in Annapolis. They need public services and local employment opportunities. They can’t afford the higher cost of living which gets passed down by higher taxes to the goods and services they need. And, they need to have their voice respected in the political process as well as those fortunate enough to promote a no-growth agenda.