Princess Anne residents fight property tax rate increase
PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland: Princess Anne residents submitted a petition with more than 300 signatures. The petition calls for a referendum so property owners can challenge the town's 2010 $2.2 million budget. Specifically, the petition developed in light of a June decisions in which town commissioners increased taxes by 10 cents per $100 of assessed property value. The tax increase specifically cannot be challenged, but that is not stopping residents from appealing the tax by challenging the town budget as a whole. Referendum supporters argue that the tax hike, if implemented, will be detrimental to the town's ability to attract new business. Town commissioners said that they understand resident's concerns but emphasized that without the tax hike, town services will have to be cut. In order to place the measure on the ballot referendum supporters are required to collect a minimum of 285 signatures. According to the town charter residents have 20 days following the approval of any ordinance to file a petition. On Friday, June 26, the group submitted 245 signatures, 40 signatures shy of the requirement. However, the official deadline was Sunday, a day when town offices are closed so residents were permitted to submit additional names on Monday.