City Council to Decide on Controversial Tax Plan in Crisfield - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

City Council to Decide on Controversial Tax Plan in Crisfield

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CRISFIELD, Md.- The Crisfield City Council will soon decide on whether a two-tier tax plan will be implemented in Crisfield.

The city council recently approved one of a few steps to raise property taxes under a proposed split tax rate plan. The council held a meeting Wednesday night to review and discuss the ordinance at a public hearing. Many people call the two-tier plan unfair and suggest a single tax rate increase for residents and owners of rental or vacant properties.

 If the two-tier plan is approved, property taxes would increase from 70 cents, per $100 of assessed value, to 81 cents for residents. Rental property owners and those who own unoccupied property would see double the increase.

Condo owners at Harbour Light Condominiums would be among the first to feel the effects of that tax plan. Melanie Chelton owns one of the condos and said the increase would be devastating. 

"Not only is it devastating for our pocketbooks, but it will be hard for the restaurant owners and the shop owners if we leave town because of these taxes," Chelton said. "We[condo owners] are a major contributor to them[Crisfield] during the summer season."

Jim Cox owns a condo in the complex as well. He is against the proposed plan.

"We[condo owners] were just reassessed 20 percent this year," Cox said." I understand, and everybody realizes that Crisfield is hurting; they need money, but the way they're doing it is the wrong way." 

Councilmember Mark Konapelsky agrees. He said a split tax rate isn't fair, and if it goes through, it would send a bad message to people who want to join the Crisfield community. 

"It's going to tell everybody that we are not friendly toward businesses, if we go through with this," Konapelsky said. "We went through Sandy together, and we can get through this tax base together."

This story is developing in Somerset County. 
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