CAMBRIDGE – Commissioners decided unanimously on March 26 to accept a slight increase in revenue. City Manager Sandra Jones-Trippe’s recommendation, as stated on the agenda, was to, “Approve maintenance of the current real property and personal property tax rates, allowing property tax to grow over constant yield level based on growth in base not rates.”
“We will see an increase of approximately $62,000,” she told the mayor and council members. The current rate is 0.8179 percent. With the growth in tax base, a cut to 0.8092 would maintain the same revenue.
Jeff Hubbard spoke to the council, representing the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce.
“Last year, we had a constant yield hearing, when we decided that a constant yield was the fair thing to do to keep the same amount of money coming into the city,” he said. “If we only use constant yield when money is going down, but when money is going up we don’t use constant yield, it doesn’t give us a consistent form of making these decisions.”
He said Cambridge is already in the top 10 of Maryland cities in terms of tax rates.
“This is something that we have to deal with at the Chamber,” Mr. Hubbard said, in terms of attracting and retaining businesses in the city. “By having a high tax rate, it just makes it that much more difficult.”
Mr. Hubbard said, “The Chamber of Commerce would like to recommend that you use the constant yield and give a small but symbolic tax cut to the citizens of Cambridge.”
Commissioner Donald Sydnor (Ward 2) said, “There are several capital projects we must consider,” as well as a needed $1.5 million fire truck, for which there is now no money in the city’s budget.