It looks like the Worcester County Commissioners have found the goose that can lay the golden egg to get more money from the taxpayers with little public opposition.
In this situation, the golden egg is the local tax rate applied to income made by residents who live or work in the Worcester County.
Maryland’s individual income tax system is comprised of a state component and a county component.
For 2000 to 2015, the Worcester County tax rate was 1.25 percent. This percentage generally resulted in Worcester County obtaining yearly revenue of $13.6 million.
In 2016, recognizing that the tax rate in Worcester County had not been raised in years, the commissioners increased the local tax rate to 1.75 percent. This increase resulted in the county obtaining $22.5 million.
Finding little opposition to increasing the local tax rate, in the budget for 2021, the commissioners set the Worcester County tax rate to 2.25 percent. This increase is estimated to bring in $26.5 million.
In a period of six years, the county commissioners have increased the local tax rate from 1.25 percent to 2.25 percent, or an 80 percent increase.
What is amazing about this whole process is that the commissioners are approving the increases with very little public opposition.
One reason could be that the Worcester County and Maryland tax are collected throughout the year by payroll deduction. Since the money is withheld from a paycheck, many people never pay attention to the full amount collected during the year.
If taxpayers had to make one large payment, such as payment of their property tax, they would easily know the total amount they were paying to the County for income taxes.
With such information, we may have the same demonstrations that show up in Snow Hill when the Commissioners propose a small property tax increase.
I urge all county residents to monitor commissioner meetings and voice their opposition to any increase in the income tax rate.