Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt, Director of Administration Wayne Strausburg, and Director of Finance Andy Mackel requested an increase of the county’s income tax before the County Council on Tuesday. The requested increase of 3.1 % to 3.2% is due to the pending school funding and maintenance of effort legislation. A Wicomico County press release states:
“Wicomico County is being taken to task by the State for what is perceived as a failure to adequately support education funding,” said County Executive Pollitt, “While I do not quarrel with the basic concern, the impact of the proposed ‘cure’ far exceeds the nature of the disease. However, if we do not increase the income tax rate, the millions of dollars the State will confiscate could very well put us out of business.”
Andy Mackel, in his presentation, outlined the services that would be in jeopardy without the .1% increase in the income tax rate. In order to reach $14.4 million, 100% of the budget for Corrections, States Attorney and the Circuit Court would need to be eliminated; or 79% of the budgets for both the Sheriff and Department of Corrections.
According to Mackel, no other combination of cuts in other county functions would come remotely close to equaling the amount.