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Hagerstown arts district gets state designation

January 10, 2002

Hagerstown arts district gets state designation



By DAN KULIN
dank@herald-mail.com


Tax breaks are coming for artists and developers who create space for artists to work and live in Hagerstown's downtown Arts and Entertainment District.

The tax breaks will be available because the Hagerstown district, which includes the four blocks around Public Square, received a state designation as a Smart Growth-Arts and Entertainment District.

Mayor William M. Breichner said the designation and tax breaks are "another plus to attract new business downtown."

The Hagerstown district was one of four to receive the state Arts and Entertainment designation.

Because of the state designation, artists working in Arts and Entertainment Districts can receive income tax breaks.

Developers who create spaces where artists can live and work in the districts can be exempt from paying certain property taxes on the value of improvements made to their properties. This exemption can be granted for up to 10 years.

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The designated districts are also exempt from some or all admissions and amusement taxes, according to a statement from the state Department of Business and Economic Development.

Up to six new Arts and Entertainment Districts will be designated by the state each year, according to the statement.

Applications for the next round of designations are due April 1.

Hancock considered applying for the designation last year, but Town Mayor Daniel Murphy said the town needed more time.

Murphy said Hancock will apply for the designation this year.

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