Commissioners OK tech park plan

Property owners to get special taxes
Frederick News Post
Bethany Rodgers
A major development project could be headed for an October groundbreaking after a jump-start from Frederick County officials. Four commissioners Thursday voted to approve a plan to sell up to $40 million of county-issued bonds to fund road improvements and off-site sewer construction for the Jefferson Technology Park. Property owners in the development will pay off the bonds, with its new residents shouldering hundreds of dollars per year in special taxes. Owners of commercial properties could pay even more. The two resolutions and ordinance solidifying the financial arrangement represent a creative way to stimulate a stalled project and draw major employers to the area, Commissioners President Blaine Young said.

Here we go again

Frederick News Post
We find it ironic that the controversy over the $100 tax rebate checks the Frederick County Commissioners want to give back to taxpayers just won't go away quietly. Ironic, we say, because had the commissioners simply picked a better option, such as reducing the tax rate in the spring to cover the $6.7 million refund to taxpayers, then the issue would be over and the savings would be reflected in the tax bills being mailed out after July 1

Trailer tax break

Frederick News Post
Commissioner Kirby Delauter was the one who suggested reducing to nothing a tax on trailer parks, which the commissioners unanimously supported last week. It's a good move if, as Delauter hoped, the break goes to residents rather than owners of the property on which the mobile homes sit. The 15 percent tax is charged on the cost of leasing the land for the trailer and collected by the county from trailer-park owners. The park owners presumably pass the cost on to tenants in their rental bills.

Frederick County refunds and waives building fees

County cut in building excise tax means more money for developers
Sherry Greenfield
Developers in Frederick County found something special in their Christmas stocking this year — money. Since the Frederick Board of County Commissioners cut the building excise tax to zero on Nov. 1, from the previous 75 cents per square foot for commercial buildings and 25 cents per square foot for housing, developers reaped nearly $184,000 in rewards.

Frederick County Commissioners cut excise tax rate to zero

Frederick News Post
Bethany Rodgers
A Tuesday decision by the Frederick County Commissioners will leave local builders with one less fee to worry about and the county with one less source of funding for bridge and road expansion. In a 3-1 vote, the commissioners dropped the excise tax rate to zero, a reduction that could cause certain transportation projects to fall behind schedule, according to county staff.

Alternative to impact fee considered

Frederick News Post
Clifford Cumber
Thursday’s snowy morning may end up a boon to affordable housing throughout the state and end a conflict over how to help low-income workers afford to live in Frederick County. If 5 or 6 inches of snow hadn’t hit the region, local Realtor Billy Shreve might not have sat down and drafted his alternative to Commissioner Jan Gardner’s proposal to change the county’s impact fee to an impact tax, he said Saturday. Ms. Gardner’s proposal would allow the county to create waivers for cheaper housing and a sliding scale in which larger homes would be charged a greater tax than smaller homes, based on a square-foot assessment. Mr. Shreve’s proposal would allow Maryland’s 23 counties to draft ordinances that would allow waivers for impact fees on a case-by-case basis. Affordable-housing advocates would go before county-appointed boards to seek a special waiver for their projects, Mr. Shreve said.