Neighbors Concerned About Tax Increase Proposal in Berlin - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Neighbors Concerned About Tax Increase Proposal in Berlin

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BERLIN, Md.- A controversial tax increase has property owners worried in Berlin.

"They can't just come up with 30 percent like that," says Stephanie Fowler, owner of Salt Water Media, a small printing shop in Berlin.

Fowler wrote a letter, co-signed by 47 other business owners, expressing their concerns about the proposed tax increase that would raise property taxes by 29 percent for the 2020 fiscal year. 

On Monday night, the town held a public meeting to discuss the proposal. Many neighbors voiced their concerns about what the increase could mean for the town.

"The crux of our letter is asking the mayor and the council pleases don't make it harder for us to live and work here," said Fowler, in reference to the letter she shared with the council.

Fowler says all they want is for the town to start a dialogue to find a better solution for next year's budget. She adds most business owners are not opposed to a tax increase but they want to see the town explore other options.

"All we want is to see the budget healthy, trim the fat, make it healthy, make it functional and then tell us where the shortfalls and if we need to talk about a tax increase after that, certainly don't put double digits on us," she said.

Across town, Betsy and Fred Von Schilgen are fearing the tax increase could be too much for them to handle

"Everything is going up and up and up and I don't know what I'm gonna do," says Fred Von Schilgen. "It's ridiculous, I can't afford the taxes as they are, it's especially hard for those living on a fixed income."

WBOC reached out to town officials but they declined to comment.

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