Advertisement

Financial study approved

January 15, 1998

Financial study approved

By STEVEN T. DENNIS

Staff Writer

The Washington County Commissioners approved a $115,000 study that will calculate the costs of growth for the county and recommend new fees or taxes to help offset those costs.

The study will analyze the costs of development, including increased demands on roads, schools and services such as police protection. It also will make recommendations on ways to pay for development, including establishment of impact fees and special taxing districts.

Commissioner James R. Wade said he wanted the study to look at other ways to manage and pay for growth, including zoning and the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance.

Advertisement

"It's clear to me that property taxes alone aren't enough to pay for all the services needed in this county," Wade said.

"I am just very concerned about how we're going to pay for growth," he said.

County Planning Director Robert Arch said the study would provide a fiscal analysis that would serve as the foundation for an update of the county's comprehensive plan. That update could include changes to zoning, Arch said.

Tischler and Associates of Bethesda, Md., was the only firm to bid on the project.

The study also will consider special taxing districts. Property owners in such districts would pay additional property taxes to offset costs of new roads or other facilities in the districts.

Tischler's proposal recommends targeting the Hopewell Road area, which is designated for industrial and commercial growth, for consideration as a special taxing district.

The commissioners eventually must decide how much developers should pay for schools, roads, bridges and sewers needed to serve their developments.

Arch said impact fees levied for new schools would affect all new homes, regardless of whether they were built in a city, municipality or an unincorporated area of the county.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|