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Workforce Housing

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NEWS
By John Colson | September 11, 2005
"Workforce housing" is a story by Washington County Commissioners Greg Snook, Jim Kercheval, and Dori Nipps. As the commissioners tell it, you can build a $400,000 house and it's "workforce housing. " Like in Alice in Wonderland, Snook, Kercheval and Nipps spin fairy tales - stories where "workforce housing" amount to giveaways to developers. Where housing cost has nothing to do with workforce housing. Where developers can get tax credits for building $400,000 houses. Where the planning director can dream up numbers.
NEWS
by TAMELA BAKER | March 4, 2005
tammyb@herald-mail.com ANNAPOLIS - Anyone looking for new digs in Washington County these days can attest to the soaring costs for housing. Apparently, they've got plenty of company in other parts of the state. Alarmed by the number of Maryland workers who can't afford to live where they're employed, Del. Maggie McIntosh, D-Baltimore City, sponsored legislation that would require local governments to include a provision for "workforce housing" in their comprehensive plans.
NEWS
April 21, 2006
This week the Washington County Commissioners discussed whether granting exemptions or reductions in the county's excise tax would really encourage the construction of so-called workforce housing. It's a legitimate question, but here's one that's more important: Why, almost five months after delivery of a county task force report on workforce housing, isn't there a strategy to make it happen? The report, delivered in November, noted that the median price of a home in September 2005 was $240,000, while the median income for a family of four was $56,250.
NEWS
September 29, 2005
Here are some of the recommendations of the Washington County Workforce Housing Task Force: Washington County should match state funding in down payment programs by contributing $3,000 toward the costs for eligible working families. With a matching $3,000 state contribution and an employer participating in the state's House Keys 4 Employees program, assistance could total $9,000. Establish a Housing Trust Fund which would assist in the building of work force housing.
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | July 13, 2005
WASHINGTON COUNTY tarar@herald-mail.com Property owners building workforce housing in Washington County will temporarily pay a reduced excise tax, but other residential developers will typically face a tax of $13,000 to $15,500 per unit, depending on the type of dwelling they build. The County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a Building Excise Tax Ordinance on new construction, effective immediately. While all the commissioners approved the ordinance, one commissioner said the tax will probably pose problems for some residents.
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | October 27, 2005
tarar@herald-mail.com Some Washington County Commissioners are unsure whether the county has the authority to waive the excise tax for some property owners who dispute the charge. The County Commissioners debated the issue at Tuesday's meeting during a discussion about which legislative requests to pitch for the upcoming Maryland General Assembly. One request was to seek clarification from the local delegation about whether the commissioners had the authority to "grant individual exemptions" for the excise tax, which is a tax on new construction.
NEWS
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | November 19, 2005
andrews@herald-mail.com HALFWAY - A new state program gives prospective homeowners up to $15,000 toward down payment and closing costs, a Maryland cabinet official said Friday. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development unveiled the House Keys 4 Employees program last month, Secretary Victor Hoskins said. The state will give a grant or loan of up to $5,000 to start. Then, through a 0-percent deferred loan, the state will match up to $5,000 contributed by the home buyer's employer.
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | March 16, 2005
tarar@herald-mail.com WASHINGTON COUNTY - Washington County would lose millions for school construction and road improvement projects under a new proposal that would prevent the commissioners and municipalities from collecting building excise tax revenues until they complete a report on rising property assessments and the availability of workforce housing in the county, some County Commissioners said Tuesday. According to the proposal, which is part of the excise tax bill, the commissioners would have to submit the report to the Washington County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly on or before Dec. 31. The commissioners want to begin collecting the revenue sooner than that - at the start of fiscal year 2006, which begins on July 1. "I think we need to collect this July 1. Period," Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said.
NEWS
by ANDREW SCHOTZ | June 22, 2005
WASHINGTON COUNTY andrews@herald-mail.com Three weeks before voting on a building excise tax ordinance, the Washington County Commissioners fielded questions on the plan Tuesday. The ordinance calls for a $13,000 tax on the construction of each single-family home. For a multifamily home, the tax would be $15,500. Under certain conditions, those taxes double for the 26th home - and all subsequent homes - in a subdivision in one fiscal year. The taxes are meant to help counterbalance new development on schools, roads, public safety and other government expenses.
NEWS
September 3, 2005
Opportunities for our community's future By Edward H. Lough, James D. Latimer and Charles Shindle In the near future, there are numerous opportunities for our community to grow and become an even better place to live. Our local governments, the City of Hagerstown and Washington County, with help from the business community, support from citizens-at-large and labor and management, need to move in a positive forward-looking direction. The following are some opportunities: OPPORTUNITY 1. All communities face the dilemma of inadequate "affordable housing" or "workforce housing.
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NEWS
November 27, 2007
A Hagerstown couple who didn't believe they could afford a new house discovered that they could - as long as they didn't want one of the mini-mansions that became popular in recent years. What Jennifer Leizear and Reese Roberts did certainly saved them money, but their idea might also provide a partial solution to the shortage of workforce housing in Washington County. That issue concerned county officials enough to have the issue studied by a task force, which issued a report in 2005.
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NEWS
By JOSHUA BOWMAN | November 13, 2007
WASHINGTON COUNTY - Washington County residents who earn too much to qualify for low-income housing but not enough to buy a house at market price could soon get some help from local governments. Officials from the Washington County Community Action Council and the City of Hagerstown will ask the County Commissioners today to help fund a nine-house development on South Potomac Street in Hagerstown. The houses, which would be moderately priced, could help spur a work-force housing program in Washington County, according to Dave Jordan, executive director of the Community Action Council.
NEWS
April 21, 2006
This week the Washington County Commissioners discussed whether granting exemptions or reductions in the county's excise tax would really encourage the construction of so-called workforce housing. It's a legitimate question, but here's one that's more important: Why, almost five months after delivery of a county task force report on workforce housing, isn't there a strategy to make it happen? The report, delivered in November, noted that the median price of a home in September 2005 was $240,000, while the median income for a family of four was $56,250.
NEWS
by BOB MAGINNIS | February 8, 2006
Given a choice between listening to a speech or a question-and- answer session, there's no doubt which is more interesting. Instead of a heavy plate of facts, you get small bites of information that are tastier, so to speak, because they're not scripted. So it was on Tuesday, at the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce's "State of the County" meeting. It began with a snappy PowerPoint presentation narrated by Commissioners President Greg Snook, who touted the county's improved financial position and its plans to manage growth, build needed infrastructure and bring in new, higher-paying jobs.
NEWS
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | November 19, 2005
andrews@herald-mail.com HALFWAY - A new state program gives prospective homeowners up to $15,000 toward down payment and closing costs, a Maryland cabinet official said Friday. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development unveiled the House Keys 4 Employees program last month, Secretary Victor Hoskins said. The state will give a grant or loan of up to $5,000 to start. Then, through a 0-percent deferred loan, the state will match up to $5,000 contributed by the home buyer's employer.
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | October 27, 2005
tarar@herald-mail.com Some Washington County Commissioners are unsure whether the county has the authority to waive the excise tax for some property owners who dispute the charge. The County Commissioners debated the issue at Tuesday's meeting during a discussion about which legislative requests to pitch for the upcoming Maryland General Assembly. One request was to seek clarification from the local delegation about whether the commissioners had the authority to "grant individual exemptions" for the excise tax, which is a tax on new construction.
NEWS
September 29, 2005
Here are some of the recommendations of the Washington County Workforce Housing Task Force: Washington County should match state funding in down payment programs by contributing $3,000 toward the costs for eligible working families. With a matching $3,000 state contribution and an employer participating in the state's House Keys 4 Employees program, assistance could total $9,000. Establish a Housing Trust Fund which would assist in the building of work force housing.
NEWS
By John Colson | September 11, 2005
"Workforce housing" is a story by Washington County Commissioners Greg Snook, Jim Kercheval, and Dori Nipps. As the commissioners tell it, you can build a $400,000 house and it's "workforce housing. " Like in Alice in Wonderland, Snook, Kercheval and Nipps spin fairy tales - stories where "workforce housing" amount to giveaways to developers. Where housing cost has nothing to do with workforce housing. Where developers can get tax credits for building $400,000 houses. Where the planning director can dream up numbers.
NEWS
September 3, 2005
Opportunities for our community's future By Edward H. Lough, James D. Latimer and Charles Shindle In the near future, there are numerous opportunities for our community to grow and become an even better place to live. Our local governments, the City of Hagerstown and Washington County, with help from the business community, support from citizens-at-large and labor and management, need to move in a positive forward-looking direction. The following are some opportunities: OPPORTUNITY 1. All communities face the dilemma of inadequate "affordable housing" or "workforce housing.
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | July 13, 2005
WASHINGTON COUNTY tarar@herald-mail.com Property owners building workforce housing in Washington County will temporarily pay a reduced excise tax, but other residential developers will typically face a tax of $13,000 to $15,500 per unit, depending on the type of dwelling they build. The County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a Building Excise Tax Ordinance on new construction, effective immediately. While all the commissioners approved the ordinance, one commissioner said the tax will probably pose problems for some residents.
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