Members of the Wicomico County Council discussed recommendations from a recent study by the Sage Policy Group and whether the county could raise money for services without raises taxes during its October 1 council meeting. As reported by the Salisbury Daily Times:
Director of Administration Wayne Strausburg met with the council to talk about results from a Sage Group Study, completed in 2012, that examined the county’s tax capacity, economic limitations and revenue trends. The report also made suggestions on how to improve the quality of life throughout the county.
“This is critical to our future,” Strausburg said. “We’ve got to grow our economic base in order to continue to fund our needs.”
The study recommended the following:
• Phasing out the inventory tax on businesses over five years;
• Altering the property tax revenue cap to use an index that better represents increases in government spending;
• Develop a small business incubator in downtown Salisbury;
• Develop an economic development strategy for both Wicomico County and Salisbury;
• Consolidate county and municipal agencies to create short- and long-term savings;
• Reduce the concentration of subsidized housing in downtown Salisbury.
The study also suggested that the county needs to increase its number of residents and businesses because the county tax burden is already high.