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Candidate says she pays two tax bills

Carrie Gouff, a candidate for County Commissioners, clarified an earlier statement, saying she pays taxes on two county properti

Carrie Gouff, a candidate for County Commissioners, clarified an earlier statement, saying she pays taxes on two county properti

July 21, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

Washington County Commissioners candidate Carrie Gouff said Thursday that she should have explained during an interview that she pays taxes on two county properties instead of one.

In a story in The Herald-Mail on Monday, Gouff criticized the county for giving $150 rebates to taxpayers.

"When I got my refund - I got my refund on a Friday and my tax bill on a Saturday, and it went up $600 ... uhh, something's wrong," she said in the story.

On Thursday, Washington County Treasurer Todd L. Hershey pointed out that the combined state and county tax increase for 12646 Beck Road - of which Gouff is listed as co-owner - was $221.27 this year.

If the $150 tax rebate is included, the net tax increase was $71.27, Hershey said.

There are no other properties in the county in Gouff's name, he said.

Asked about this by The Herald-Mail, Gouff said she made a mistake by not explaining that she also pays the taxes for another property.

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Gouff wouldn't identify the property or who owns it. She said she wants to keep that person's name out of her campaign for office.

According to public tax records, Harry E. Gouff III and Carrie S. Gouff own 12646 Beck Road, east of Hagerstown.

The combined state and county real estate taxes on the property in 2005-06 were $4,985.34, according to Hershey. The 2006-07 total is $5,206.61, an increase of $221.27.Hershey said he pointed out the discrepancy because he tries to educate the public when statements about taxes aren't right.

But Gouff said the combined tax increase for the property in her name and the property on which she pays the taxes is "a few pennies shy" of $600, so she rounded up.

She stuck to her original criticism Thursday, saying that the county shouldn't have sent a rebate that arrived one day and raised taxes in bills that arrived the next.

Gouff is one of 12 candidates in the Sept. 12 Republican primary. Another 12 candidates are running in the Democratic primary. The top five candidates in each primary advance to the Nov. 7 general election.

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