Ocean City Today

Resort property tax cut possible in FY19

Readers' Forum
Mar 29, 2018



printed 03/30/2018



Recently the Mayor and City Council of the Town of Ocean City were informed that the constant yield property tax rate for Fiscal Year ’19 increased slightly from 46.56 cents per $100 of assessed value to 46.67 cents.

Thus, the staff plans to submit a draft budget to the M&CC at the slightly higher tax rate. The staff pointed out that it has been the town policy to adopt the budget at the constant yield rate for the last several years.

Let me share with you the results of adopting the constant yield every year, as opposed to cutting the property tax rate by a fair and reasonable amount.

Since FY11, the town has collected over $31 million in excess unassigned fund balance reserves. This is surplus over and above the 15-percent budgeted reserve policy amount.

Over this seven-year period, the town has averaged 20.8 percent in unrestricted fund balance reserves, almost 6 percent above the policy threshold. Last year alone (FY17), they collected 25.7 percent, or 10.7 percent above the policy amount.

That equated to almost $8.5 million in surplus reserve funds in just one year. In FY17, the M&CC could have reduced the tax rate by nearly 10 cents and still have generated the 15-percent reserve amount.

From a different angle, the town has averaged over $4.4 million in excess reserves over that seven-year period. On average, the tax rate could have been reduced by 4.8 cents each year and the town would still meet their 15-percent reserve policy amount.

Yet again, I call on the M&CC to be fiscally responsible as they begin FY19 budget deliberations.

Vincent dePaul Gisriel, Jr.

Ocean City

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