- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A fake email and postcards are circulating this week about a proposed special tax district proposal from the Chesapeake Ranch Estates Board of Directors.
“It is not from us,” Travis Scott, president of the Property Owners Association of the Chesapeake Ranch Estates, said of the email and postcard that have been going around.
The email, sent from email@example.com in which “estates” is misspelled, is labeled as an “urgent tax notice.” It states, “The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) will be receiving a petition to approve a [five] year $250 tax to be levied against each property within the POACRE. Property Owners [sic] are requested to contact the BOCC to provide input and receive more information.”
The email concludes by requesting the recipient to “please forward this to all Property Owners [sic] affected by this Tax [sic].”
Scott explained there is also a postcard that “says the same thing” and appears to be in the same font as the email.
POACRE does not have a Gmail account, Scott said, and the board’s email server is poacre.org.
Currently, POACRE has submitted a draft of its STD to the county and has posted the draft on the POACRE website, Scott said. The draft details the STD at $250 per lot per year beginning in 2014 and ending in 2018.
Scott said he believes “there’s a lot of bang for your buck” in the draft STD.
According to the draft, the revenue from this STD will support “roads life cycle efforts,” an “attempt to address speeding in the community with the installation of traffic calming devices to slow traffic” and “removal of large areas of impervious surfaces.”
The removal of such spaces, the draft states, is so that asphalt maintenance is no longer required, and will “reduce the amount of impervious surface contributing to the Chesapeake Bay.”
In addition, the draft said this STD will differ “significantly” from past STDs. In an effort to provide a more permanent solution to the “endless cycle of repair” to POACRE roads, the focus of roadway reconstruction will shift to the tertiary roadways. Roughly 90 percent of these roadways will be treated by the end of the proposed time period, according to the draft.
The tax, levied on 4,390 lots according to the draft, is projected to total $5,872,675 at the end of the five-year period.
In order to access the draft on the POACRE website, Scott said owners, residents and members must contact the office and obtain a login name and password if they don’t already have one.
“I want everybody to read the STD. I want everybody to understand what it does,” Scott said of the draft. He added that the board is accepting comments, both on the record and off, about the draft and what residents would and would not like to see in the STD.
“While it may not be on every agenda, we can hear comments,” he said. “People can come to us anytime.”
In the past, Scott said, there has been very little response to the STDs until they go to public hearing with the BOCC.
In an email sent from Jay Hopson, POACRE roads engineer, to POACRE, County Administrator Terry Shannon and County Attorney John Norris III, he said his intent was to have the final document submitted to the Roads Committee for final approval Feb. 14 and then submitted to the Board of Directors for signing this Saturday.
“Once the documents [are] signed we will make our formal submittal to the [BOCC],” Hopson’s email states.
Once the final document is sent to the BOCC, there will be a public hearing where residents can provide comments about the proposal.
Hopson listed several of the draft’s highlights in his email, including a long-term maintenance plan for the primary and secondary roads, a requirement that money is to be set aside for emergencies and disasters and an indication that “with 22.1 miles paved by this program and the 8 miles paved in 2013 total roadways in CRE NOT [sic] paved will total about 2.6 miles.”