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Tax rate should stay the same

James Rada, Jr.
Thurmont Dispatch

(5/3) Mayor Martin Burns indicated during the May 1 town commissioners meeting that he hoped to keep the tax rate at 26.5 cents per $100 of assessed value, which is the same as it is currently.

At 26.5 cents, Burns said the budget would be tight and that the commissioners might consider increasing it to 27 cents to add “a cushion.” However, the state-calculated constant-yield rate is 24.5 cents. This is the tax rate that would generate the same amount of property tax revenue (excluding new construction) next year as was collected this year.

“I don’t think you’re going to lower the tax rate,” Burns told the other commissioners.

As mayor, Burns prepares his recommended budget, which the full board of commissioners vote on after hearing from department heads and discussing it amongst themselves.

Burns did say that the sewer rate would be increased next year to begin paying for the multi-million dollars of improvements the system needs. He said next year’s budget is the one where residents begin feeling the crunch paying for sewer repairs.

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