City of Salisbury eyeing HORIZON Program, hope to bring more developers to town
SALISBURY, Md. – The city of Salisbury is hoping to bring a boost to the local economy with a new incentive program that could bring more development of hotels and large apartment buildings to the downtown area. The HORIZON Program would provide tax incentives for developers who are looking to make Salisbury their new home. “We are watching a building boom go around the nation, but in downtown, we haven’t put a shovel in the ground in a long time,” said Nick Simpson of Simpson Building.
Acting Mayor Julia Glanz says this is the type of boost projects need to help Salisbury grow. “That’s a thousand people that live here and work here, shop here every day. Downtown will be open for business 24/7, and that is what these businesses want,” said Acting Mayor Glanz.
Developers with hotel or residential projects valued at at least $10 million would continue to pay their base property tax rates. But as the projects grow and construction gets under way, their increasing property taxes would be controlled and slowly increased in steps. Simpson says not only will this make it easier for developers to stabilize these large projects. It’ll also give the city a better chance of finding developers to sign onto projects. “With these large projects there’s a lot of risk involved and these investors just want to be compensated. They’re getting compensated in other markets. So we just need to be competitive,” said Simpson.
Wicomico County Council member John Cannon says making Salisbury an attractive place for developers to build will likely help the county to grow and become stronger financially. “Imagine the number of jobs it’s going to create, the number of people who will be coming down, the increase in your tax base that you’re going to see. I’ve always said if you increase your tax base, you don’t have to increase your tax rates,” said Council member Cannon.
The next Wicomico County Council meeting is on December 15th. Council member Cannon says he thinks they will likely vote on the HORIZON Project then.