“Property taxes are not a funding source,” Ocean City Council defends proposed sports complex against criticism

OCEAN CITY, Md-  Ocean City Council Member John Gehrig took the podium on Monday night’s City Council session to address so-called “fearmongers” who he says are spreading incorrect information about the town’s proposed sports complex.  Gehrig says it’s true that the town has increasing costs due to the pandemic inflation, infrastructure upgrades, and staffing increases for the town’s tourism and police departments.

He says to pay for these increases the town has two options  “Take it in the form of taxes or make it.”

But he says, that does not mean increasing property taxes would be used to fund the new stadium, which he says opponents of the plan have been claiming in door-to-door canvasses across Ocean City and Worcester County.

He argues, that the sports complex would be a major source of tax revenue that could help pay for those expenses.
“The alternative is pretty simple to seek ways to make money and the sports complex is a huge industry people want to be here 5-hour drive 50 million people, 20 bill a year industry and we see the opportunity and we just cant facilitate demand and this makes it a low-risk proposition,” he said.

He also says Maryland recently passed a law to allow for counties to apply for funding for sports complexes — and he expects Worcester county to apply.
He tells us that cutting the yield tax rate by 15 cents may sound appealing to residents, but would in his view be shortsighted.

He says slashing the taxes as opponents argue for would result in critical infrastructures like sewage pipes and roads being left un-upgraded or maintained.

“Slash taxes and cross our fingers and hope is not a sound policy and if you want that I’m not your guy,” Gherig said.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Local News, Local Politics, Maryland