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Washington County briefs

October 18, 2006

Changes are made to tax credit program

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday loosened requirements of a business tax credit program in hopes of attracting more jobs to the county.

The County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the changes to the New Jobs Tax Credit program.

The Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission (EDC) recommended the changes.

The program provides eligible companies with credits on the county's real property and business personal property taxes, according to information provided by the county. The credits are a graduated amount over a six-year period, according to the county.

Under the changes, a company will be eligible by building or leasing construction space of 10,000 square feet, down from 30,000 square feet; creating at least 25 new jobs, down from 50 new jobs; and 50 percent of the jobs must pay at least 135 percent of the average weekly wage per worker in the county, down from at least 150 percent.

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The current average weekly wage per worker in the county is $16.15 an hour, or $33,592 a year, according to the county.

EDC Deputy Director Cassandra H. Latimer said just one company took advantage of the program under the old requirements. The EDC hopes to attract more business to the county with the new criteria.

One appointed to women's commission

One person was appointed to the Commission for Women Tuesday.

The Washington County Commissioners appointed Terri Blair to the board.

- Tara Reilly

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