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Mayor Ray Morriss In Favor Of Working To Eliminate Special Mall Tax

February 14th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

With a number of changes on the horizon, Cumberland Mayor Ray Morriss said during Thursday’s DDC meeting that he would be in favor of working toward eliminating the so-called special mall tax that is currently charged to downtown property owners. With the expanded role of the Cumberland Economic Development Corporation and its merger with Allegany County- there is some sentiment that the Downtown Development Commission could see a dramatic reduction in responsibility and scope of duties. Morriss said that  if Baltimore Street is reinstalled through the pedestrian mall and the area is returned to a city street like the rest of Cumberland, the need for a special taxing authority may no longer be viable. The special mall tax was enacted to cover the cost of a Maryland bond issue used to finance the "bricking over" of Baltimore Street to convert it into a pedestrian mall in 1977. That bond issue was paid off nearly 10 years ago but is still collected in order to cover the cost of maintenance, snow removal and special downtown events.  The mayor said that if those responsibilities could be handled by the revamped CEDC and the cost covered elsewhere- he would advocate the tax be phased out…

5 Responses to “Mayor Ray Morriss In Favor Of Working To Eliminate Special Mall Tax”

  1. February 14, 2020 at 6:42 am, Bill said:

    Again I’ll ask… If the mall was paid for originally with the special tax, why don’t they pay to destroy it with a special tax? Instead of taking it out of the tax payers pocket let the businesses who will “benefit” from it pay for it!

    Next issue is where is the funding going to come from for live entertainment during the summer months on this new street? 75% of the businesses downtown benefit from the festivals and events currently being paid for by this Mall Tax. If they eliminate the Mall Tax does that mean the elimination of entertainment for our downtown business district?

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  2. February 14, 2020 at 6:56 am, mac said:

    I had to laugh after reading that the Mayor is in favor of “working” to eliminate the tax.
    If the tax is superfluous just say it’s now gone. There, that wasn’t really so difficult was it?
    I think that may be our City financed PR firm raising it’s ugly head. “Mr. Mayor, sweetheart, don’t ever just do something when you can get em to believe you had to work hard to do it. It makes you look more mayoral, a go to, get it done kind of guy.”

    Reply

  3. February 14, 2020 at 8:45 am, j.r. lepley said:

    I went to him about a drainage problem here on Winifred road and all I got was a phone call from him promising to help.that was about two year s ago,have nt seen any help since or heard from the city yet!!!the same help I got from the city admin,which was NONE!!but they took care of the 5 house s down the streetthey have 8 large drains to keep their yard s from flooding,,they are a bunch of do nothing s at city hall!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  4. February 14, 2020 at 10:23 am, Ken said:

    How is it fair to Frostburg and other towns for the, now county agency, CEDC to take over the management of Cumberland’s Downtown maintenance and entertainment? Is the CEDC going to gobble up Frostburg First too? Paul Kelly and Matt Miller will be the destruction of the county in the end.

    Reply

  5. February 14, 2020 at 12:42 pm, Bob said:

    So, the owners are charged extra tax for decades for the privilege of owning property in a ghost town. Now that downtown is on the brink of becoming a shopping and tourist mecca according to local officials, those same officials think the extra tax is no longer warranted. They can probably all agree on that thinking.

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