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Hearing set on redesignation of Arts & Entertainment District

March 25, 2012

A public hearing is scheduled for the redesignation of the City of Hagerstown’s Arts & Entertainment District, which makes certain projects within its boundaries eligible for property tax credits and exempt from the admission and amusement tax.

The hearing will take place during the city council’s Tuesday meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. in the council chamber at City Hall, 1 E. Franklin St. A resolution to approve the application for redesignation appears the city council agenda in order for it to be submitted by the April 1 deadline.

In December 2001, the state approved the city’s initial application and designated four blocks around Public Square as a Smart Growth A&E District, according to city Community Affairs Manager Karen Giffin.

In 2008, the district was expanded to include moderately sized and priced residential housing on the east side of the district, Giffin said in a letter to the five-member council last week.

The city and county agreed to provide a 50 percent property tax credit on the increase in assessment, which results from a renovation project to create artist housing or space for A&E enterprises, Giffin said.

Additionally, artists who live in Washington County and derive more than 50 percent of their income from artistic endeavors or sales in the district are eligible for a state income tax break, which would be available for 10 years, she said.

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— C.J. Lovelace

If you go
What: Public hearing on the redesignation of Hagerstown’s Arts & Entertainment District
When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Where: City Hall, 1 E. Franklin St.

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