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Property tax freeze would help Hagerstown city budget

May 08, 2007|by DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - By maintaining the property tax rate, officials with the City of Hagerstown hope to raise about $1.3 million in new revenue to help pay mounting costs associated with additional employees and other expenses, Finance Director Alfred Martin said Monday.

In 2007-08, assessments on existing properties in the city are projected to increase about 8.4 percent, and those projected increases should account for more than $1 million in additional property tax revenues, Martin said.

Besides paying the salaries and benefits of 10 new firefighters, Martin said the city has to find ways to cover other expenses, like rising fuel and utility costs.

"This extra money will help the city pay the cost of doing business," Martin said. "All of the (expenses) are obviously higher than they were a year ago."

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City officials would have to lower the property tax rate from 79.8 cents to 73.6 cents per every $100 of assessed value to generate the same amount of property tax revenue in 2007-08 that the city made in 2006-07, Martin said.

The city would raise about $17.6 million by keeping the tax rate at 79.8 cents in 2007-08, Martin said. About $16.3 million was generated in 2006-07 by applying the rate of 79.8 cents to assessments, he said.




A public hearing has been scheduled for 7 p.m. May 15 at City Hall to discuss Hagerstown's property tax rate.

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