Welcome to Fiscal Year 2018 – it began on July 1, without a champagne toast or anything dropping down a pole. And if you celebrated too heartily on the new year’s eve, this will help to sober up.
Let’s look at real estate tax rates for “FY18,” which must be set at the level required to balance the budget expenditures. Here’s what happened in Wicomico County’s budget and those in its two largest municipalities. Both the County Council and the Fruitland Council managed to reduce their respective tax rates, but Salisbury’s is going up substantially. And Jake Day thinks it’s a “business friendly” place!
In Salisbury, the new tax rate is $.9832, or almost 1% per $100 of assessed value, and about 4.2% higher than last year. Apparently, the so-called businessmen on the City Council – Heath and Boda – did little or nothing to reduce the expenditures proposed by Day.
Meanwhile, the Fruitland Council reduced that Town’s tax rate by almost 1.5%, and the Wicomico County Council, by cutting expenditures proposed by County Executive Culver, reduced the County’s tax rate by almost 1.3% while restoring some of the cuts that he made for items requested by the school system.
The tax rate in Salisbury is now higher than that in Fruitland or Wicomico County, and may be the highest of any municipality in Maryland with the exception of Baltimore City, as Jake Day expands his staff with new hires, just as Rick Pollitt did when he was County Executive and hired a “public information officer” and an assistant for his assistant. Déjà vu.
Yes, Virginia, Salisbury property owners are being screwed once again. What’s amazing is that the local businesses and their Chamber of Commerce are passive about the City’s increasing expenses and tax rate, and even supportive of Day, Heath and Boda. As long as they remain in office, the City’s budget surely will continue to balloon, along with its taxes.