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Higher Taxes in Hagerstown

by Tom Branham, Washington D.C., June 2018

 

Business and multifamily property owners will bear the brunt of new tax hikes approved by the City Council in Hagerstown, Maryland. The additional tax revenue will be earmarked for economic development incentives.

 

Everyone Pays More

 

The city’s $142 million budget for fiscal 2019 includes a 9-cent property tax hike on apartment buildings and a 6-cent increase on all other properties.

 

Beginning July 1, apartment buildings will be taxed at $1.03 per $100 valuation and all other property owners will pay $1 per $100 of assessed value.

 

Business property will continue to be taxed at the highest rate. The budget includes a 15-cent increase for business properties for a tax rate of $2.51 per $100 of valuation.

 

First-third Tax Incentives

 

The additional $800,000 in new taxes will be used to fund grants that pay the “first third” of various projects. Examples include building renovations, small commercial projects, and grants for prospective homeowners. The remaining two-thirds will come from private sources.

 

Officials say bringing back the first-third program opens the door for up to three major building renovations per year.

 

In the past, the grant program helped major downtown renovations including the Patterson and Grand buildings along with numerous home and business improvement projects, according to council members.