OCEAN CITY — While there appears to be a thaw somewhat in the decades-old debate of tax differential between Ocean City and Worcester County, it remains to be seen if the two sides can reach an amicable agreement, but a new element involving the resort’s contribution to the public school system could further muddy the picture.
Late last year, the Ocean City Mayor and Council again submitted its official tax differential request to Worcester officials in advance of the county’s budget deliberations. Each year, the town seeks relief for its taxpayers from Worcester County for services duplicated by the two jurisdictions.
In 2007, Ocean City hired the Municipal and Financial Services Group (MFSG) to conduct a study to identify those duplicated services and calculate a tax differential, or tax set-off for resort residents against their county property tax rates. In 2013, MFSG was rehired to update the original study and determined the estimated cost of duplicated services for Ocean City residents totaled around $17 million.