OCEAN CITY — A review of the proposed revenue and user-fee policy for Ocean City Recreation and Parks Department camps and programs this week led to a spirited debate about how much of the burden should be borne by the resident taxpayers compared to non-resident users.
During Tuesday’s Recreation and Parks Committee meeting, members began reviewing the proposed revenue and user-fee policy for next year, leading to a lengthy discourse on the fees that are charged to residents and non-residents for the department’s countless programs, camps and sports leagues. For years, the department has charged one fee for Ocean City residents and a slightly higher fee for non-residents.
The amount of difference varies by program and camp for a variety of reasons, and there is no standard straight percentage in the gap. For some programs, the non-resident fee is considerably higher, while for others, the difference can be as little as 10 percent.
During Tuesday’s review of the proposed revenue and user-fee structure for next year and beyond, Councilman Dennis Dare pointed out the residents already pay for a lot of the facilities and other fixed costs through taxes and encouraged the committee to take a closer look at the divide between resident and non-resident fees.