The Frederick County Board of Commissioners are scheduled to discuss today a proposal that would offer businesses that develop or expand within the county a property tax credit. The ordinance outlines that companies that open or expand by at least 10,000 square feet and hire at least 25 new full-time employees would be eligible for the break. The Gazette reports:
Commissioners’ President Blaine R. Young (R) said Wednesday he is ready to move forward with the ordinance and schedule a public hearing to allow residents to weigh in on the proposal.
But Young said he still has a few concerns he plans to make known at Thursday’s meeting. “My big concern is that we do something to make it equitable for small, medium and large businesses,” he said. “People get upset when it’s [tax breaks] always for large businesses.”
Young said he also wants to make sure that existing businesses get the same breaks as new companies that come to Frederick County.
To receive a tax credit under the proposal, a business would have to open at or expand by at least 10,000 square feet of space and hire at least 25 new full-time employees for at least two years, according to the ordinance. The tax credit would only apply to new or expanded space.
It would also only apply if the company pays at least 135 percent of the average weekly wage in Frederick County as determined and adjusted each year by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
The six-year credit would start off at 52 percent for the first and second year, drop to 39 percent for the third and fourth year, then finish at 26 percent in the fifth and sixth year, according to the staff report. The tax credit would then expire, and the business would have to pay the full rate of 93.6 cents per $100 of assessed value.
To receive an “enhanced” tax credit under the proposal, businesses need to open at or expand by at least 250,000 square feet of space, continue to employee 2,500 people, and hire at least 500 new workers. These companies would receive a tax credit equal to 58.5 percent of the assessed value of the new space for 12 years.
The top priority for commissioners is attracting jobs. County staff is reviewing more than 200 proposals to reduce, alter or eliminate rules and regulations to help improve the county process.