Fair or unfair, it’s difficult for most people to sympathize with Ocean City government’s bristling over the resort’s disproportionate contribution to the Worcester County government’s treasury.
That’s because Ocean City has had a disproportionate amount of good fortune as compared to the rest of the county.
Even though 60 percent or so of county government’s tax revenue comes from levies on Ocean City properties, resort residents receive little from the county, except, of course, an outstanding public school system that, like it or not, is in everyone’s best interests to provide.
Especially aggravating to resort officials is that Ocean City has to cover the fire and rescue needs of unincorporated West Ocean City, when reimbursement from the county falls short of covering the cost.
But wait. The reason no one feels bad about Ocean City’s situation is because it’s so wealthy, courtesy of its geography and the entrepreneurs who built on it.
Sitting in Snow Hill and staring north at a tax base that’s 80 times greater, it’s easy to see how someone might not care that Ocean City is feeling put upon. It’s also why so many of the country’s voters support a special tax on billionaires.
At the same time, Ocean City tends to forget that political figures from interior states have long chafed over spending federal dollars on maintaining far away beaches.
The fact is, tax money from all sources is spread around unfairly all the time. The problem with the arguments for and against these inequities, however, is that not one of them offers a solution that doesn’t shift the burden to others who think they don’t deserve it.