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This letter was addressed to the Queen Anne's County Commissioners and published in the Star Democrat.

May 05, 2002 

Queen Anne's needs tough impact tax

There's a tug of war in progress about the amount of Impact taxes vs. increasing real estate and other taxes necessary to support our municipal expenses.

The Chamber of Commerce and Department of Business and Tourism tout low impact fees. They say low fees are necessary to attract business development. But if the impact fee is too low, the burden falls back on present taxpayers.

Some propose a separate fire tax. This would burden current taxpayers who've already paid for our existing fire stations.

Chris Drummond, Planning Commission legal counsel, said eliminating a dedicated impact fee ultimately would mean the county would seek other revenue sources. This would be through higher real estate (or new) taxes.

Queen Anne's County has some of the most valuable, beautiful, desirable property on the Eastern Seaboard. We don't need more inducements, such as lower-than-necessary impact fees, to attract qualified residential, commercial and industrial developers, as evidenced by the deluge of developers presently seeking permission to build projects totaling approximately 5,000 new homes.

We can afford to be choosy, demand the best development, generating greater tax revenue than the cost of services they consume.

Regardless of how we feel about more people coming to live in our county, we will get our share of the tremendous increase in population.

We should demand developers create superior developments and pay for infrastructure needed to support their developments.

THOMAS G. OYSTER

Stevensville

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