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Developer's suit on excise taxes in Maugansville resolved

October 24, 2007|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

A lawsuit accusing Washington County of delaying a Maugansville housing project and trying to impose unfairly high building fees has been resolved.

Assistant County Attorney Andrew Wilkinson said the developer, Magnum Center LLC of Ocean City, Md., agreed to build condominiums instead of apartments, ending a dispute over excise taxes.

"By changing the plan, they fixed the problem ..." he said. "We didn't give in."

Dan Demeria, who is part of Magnum Center LLC, didn't want to discuss specifics of the agreement, but acknowledged that it involved switching a building plan to condominiums.

The company's lawsuit, filed in January, sought at least $500,000 in damages.

It alleged that the county was going to charge up to $1 per square foot as an excise tax on multifamily units.

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Later, the county raised its tax to $13,000 for new single-family homes and $15,500 for new multifamily units.

However, the charge for "true" condominiums still is $1 per square foot, Wilkinson said.

The two sides agreed on the resolution last month, he said.

Magnum Center LLC's original plan for the project included 73 single-family homes, 93 town houses and 120 apartments, The Herald-Mail reported at the time.

The development, called Seneca Ridge, is off Maugans Avenue.

Demeria said Tuesday that 37 of the single-family homes have been built.

Of the 93 proposed town houses, 56 were built. The other 37 lots were sold to Dan Ryan, he said.

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