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NEWS
November 30, 1999
Washington County expects revenue from the building excise tax to fall about $11 million short of what was anticipated for the current fiscal year. A slowdown in the housing market and an increase in smaller homes being constructed is causing the shortfall, Finance Director Debra Murray told the County Commissioners at a meeting Tuesday. See Wednesday's editions of The Morning Herald and The Daily Mail for the full story.
NEWS
June 26, 1997
The Washington County Commissioners raised rents on T-hangars and raised the fuel flow fee at the Washington County Regional Airport Tuesday. The commissioners raised rents an average of $5 a month and hiked the fuel flow fee from six cents a gallon to seven cents a gallon. The increases will generate about $9,000 in additional revenue for the airport, said Airport Manager Carolyn Motz. People who rent the T-shaped hangars had vigorously protested the increases, saying that the county shouldn't use T-hangar revenue to subsidize other parts of the airport.
NEWS
October 14, 2004
Municipalities in Washington County will be reimbursed for collecting the county's excise tax on new construction. The County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to give the municipalities 2 percent of the revenue collected to cover administrative costs. Municipalities whose administrative costs exceed 2 percent will have to prove the claims by showing documentation, the commissioners said.
NEWS
October 25, 2006
· Full funding for schools · Better teacher pensions · In favor of slots, as long as counties that have them get at least 30 percent of the revenue · Tax incentives to bring in new businesses and jobs · Try to make Maryland exempt from No Child Left Behind Act
NEWS
by DAVE McMILLION | May 18, 2006
RANSON, W.Va. - Slot machine revenue from Charles Town Races & Slots continues to funnel millions of dollars into local government. With a little more than six weeks to go in the fiscal year, the City of Ranson has already raked in a little more than $1 million this year, allowing the city to purchase new vehicles for its public works department, meet increased sewage treatment costs and boost police officer salaries, city officials said....
NEWS
February 4, 2002
Slot machines yielding rich take for local governments By ANDREW SCHOTZ andrews@herald-mail.com Millions of dollars pour from the bellies of slot machines at Charles Town Races into the coffers of local government. Jefferson County and its five municipalities received nearly $4.7 million in slot machine revenue from 1997 to 2001, according to the West Virginia Lottery. Jefferson County Commissioner James Ruland expects another $3 million to come in this fiscal year.
NEWS
By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com | January 17, 2011
Officers of several Washington County veterans clubs reacted Monday to another attempt by lawmakers to pass legislation that would allow veterans organizations to operate slot machines to offset dire finances. For years, lawmakers have been trying to pass legislation, in some form, to allow groups such as Veterans of Foreign Wars and The American Legion to operate slots as a way to make extra revenue.   Money from slots is desperately needed to make up for a decline in membership fees, general fundraising and revenue from rentals of halls for weddings and birthday parties, members of veterans groups said.
OPINION
December 1, 2012
Cheap stunt will not divide and conquer To the editor: This letter is in response to “ Obama voters have made their bed .” (Nov. 17, 2012) It is an interesting sociological phenomenon how groups of people can view the same incident and interpret it so differently. For example, the way the right responded to President Obama's decisive election victory. One major highlight to be taken here was the indisputable fact that this election could not be bought.
NEWS
February 3, 2003
Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich's prescription for fixing what ails the state's budget is to enact a slot-machine bill quickly, then spend the next year looking for ways to streamline government. There's plenty of sentiment for waiting a year on slots, but no answer yet on how much pain not getting that gambling revenue will cause. The word on Ehrlich's slots-now, reorganization-later strategy came from House Minority Leader Alfred Redmer, who said passing the slots bill in 2003 would give the "Ehrlich team" time to study state government and see what changes might be made.
OPINION
By TIM ROWLAND | timr@herald-mail.com | April 21, 2013
People in Washington County should concern themselves with the following passage from the Chicago Tribune, which appeared two days after Christmas: “In an annual ritual that has become as predictable if not as joyous as a New Year's Eve countdown to midnight, Chicago drivers again will have to dig a little deeper to pay to park at meters in 2013. “Loop rates will go up 75 cents to $6.50 an hour as part of scheduled fee increases included in Mayor Richard Daley's much-criticized 2008 lease of the city's meters to Chicago Parking Meters LLC.” Chicago Parking Meters LLC?
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NEWS
By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com | September 3, 2013
Despite concerns among some members, the Smithsburg Town Council Tuesday night passed a resolution introducing a proposed $4.6 million revenue bond for a nearby mental-health facility to expand. R. Lynn Rushing, chief executive officer of Brook Lane, appeared before council members to talk about the need for a 14-bed addition to the private facility located between Smithsburg and Leitersburg. Rushing said the addition is needed because Brook Lane turned away 1,200 people in the past fiscal year, 700 of whom were children.
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NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com | August 21, 2013
Lodging taxes collected from hotels and motels in Berkeley County have yet to rebound to the levels of five years ago, according to figures presented Wednesday to Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention & Visitors Bureau board members. The convention and visitors bureau's share of the lodging tax revenue for fiscal 2012-13 was down by more than $50,000 from the 2007-08 year, when lodging taxes generated more than $400,000 for the CVB, Executive Director Laura Gassler said. The Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks & Recreation Board splits the hotel/motel tax revenue with the convention and visitors bureau.
NEWS
April 30, 2013
Martinsburg City Council, which met Monday as a committee of the whole, recommended that City Manager Mark Baldwin be authorized to begin the process to apply to become a “home rule” city in West Virginia. Mayor George Karos and city council members received an explanation from City Attorney Floyd M. “Kin” Sayre III about the State Legislature's recent expansion of the home rule pilot program, which now will allow 16 more cities to apply to join four others already participating in the initiative.
OPINION
By TIM ROWLAND | timr@herald-mail.com | April 21, 2013
People in Washington County should concern themselves with the following passage from the Chicago Tribune, which appeared two days after Christmas: “In an annual ritual that has become as predictable if not as joyous as a New Year's Eve countdown to midnight, Chicago drivers again will have to dig a little deeper to pay to park at meters in 2013. “Loop rates will go up 75 cents to $6.50 an hour as part of scheduled fee increases included in Mayor Richard Daley's much-criticized 2008 lease of the city's meters to Chicago Parking Meters LLC.” Chicago Parking Meters LLC?
OPINION
April 11, 2013
The price of gas in Maryland, following a tax hike in the General Assembly, is on target to increase by 4 cents in July, with a series of percentage hikes to follow, lasting through the year 2016 - not to mention a permanent tie to inflation. All told, gas likely will cost 20 more cents a gallon by the time the hikes are phased in over the next three years. It goes without saying that rural Marylanders who do the most driving will pay a higher percentage of the new tax, at least on a per-capita basis.
OPINION
April 9, 2013
“I see where someone wants to cut out the junk mail they receive. Think about it this way, that junk mail still brings in revenue for the postal service. Take away the junk mail, take away the revenue. Take away the revenue, take away a lot more than Saturday mail delivery.” - Funkstown “I am happy for Sierra Nevada and their employees for getting $43 million from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (U.S. taxpayer) for sophisticated enforcement planes. As a taxpayer, it would be good to know if drone planes would be a cheaper alternative.
NEWS
By HOLLY SHOK | holly.shok@herald-mail.com | April 4, 2013
Although city staff in January suggested a property tax increase to make up a $1.05 million shortfall for fiscal year 2013-14, an increase was not included in the city of Hagerstown's proposed budget.  Michelle Burker, the city's director of finance, said the budget maintains the current property tax rate of 78.8 cents per $100 of assessed real estate values - a rate that has been in effect since fiscal year 2008-09. “We were able to eliminate the $1.05 million shortfall by adjusting revenue estimates and making certain expenditure reductions,” Burker said Wednesday in an email.  In January, the preliminary general fund revenue estimate was $36,867,244.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com | March 23, 2013
Property values in Martinsburg have dropped for four consecutive years and the city's general fund could lose revenue next year if the losses continue, city Finance Director Mark Spickler said. Values this year dropped by about 6 percent, which was a smaller decline than last year's decrease, Spickler said. “I guess you're going in the right direction, but it's still not positive,” Spickler said Friday. Altogether, the city has seen property values drop about 35 percent in the last four years, according to budget documents.
NEWS
By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com | March 3, 2013
An audit presented publicly last week by two certified public accountants laid out the Waynesboro Area School District's financial picture at the end of 2011-12. Smith Elliott Kearns & Co. LLC shared with the Waynesboro Area School Board its audit and a PowerPoint presentation with summarized results. General fund revenues, which totaled $47.8 million, were down 5 percent from the previous year, due to expiring stimulus funds and the way the state allocated those monies, said Kevin Stouffer, a certified public accountant.
NEWS
By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com | December 12, 2012
The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau gets about 82 percent of its $1 million annual revenue from the hotel-motel tax, the organization's president and CEO Tom Riford said. Riford said Wednesday during a breakfast attended by about 125 CVB members that the remaining 18 percent, or roughly $180,000, of the CVB's revenues, comes from grants, dues, gift shop proceeds and other sources. “We bring people here, they spend money, and they leave, and that's a good thing because they leave with wonderful memories about what a great place Washington County is,” Riford said.
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