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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Talbot County Faces Tax Hike Dilemma

EASTON, Md, - The Talbot County council is facing a real dilemma. On one hand, they need to pay for state mandated education. On the other, they have a property tax cap they are trying not to break.
The council proposed breaking the property tax cap last night at their meeting. They say they don't want to, but increasing taxes may be the only way.
One Easton resident is far from thrilled to hear a property tax hike could be on it's way, but he's taking the news in stride.
"Nobody wants to pay more taxes, but I think this is a good tax," said Arthur Cizek of Easton.
Arthur has grandchildren in the Talbot County school system. He says if paying a little more means they will receive a good education, he doesn't mind.
"I want to see that school system strong, I want to see my grandchildren get a good education and I am willing to pay for it," said Cizek.
Talbot County is working on a way to pay for the state's mandated education funding. Councilwomen Laura Price says every option has a downside.
"The pitfalls of breaking the property tax cap is that once it is broken it does open the door to breaking it again," said Councilwomen Price. "Maybe we need to take a stand and tell the state we aren't going to do it."
Over the last month, real estate agent Doug Firth says the housing market has picked up in Talbot County, but if property taxes are raised that trend could end.
"It could have a drastic impact here as we are just coming out of a horrendous past two or three years in the real estate market," said Firth.
A public hearing on the property tax increase is scheduled for May 1.

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