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Manchester Town Council votes to increase property tax

By Holly Shok, Landmark News Service | Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 12:15 am

Manchester's Town Council meeting Tuesday commenced with a public hearing on last month's proposed property tax increase, of 20.4 to 21.6 cents per every $100 of assessed value, for 2012's budget.

The approval of Ordinance No. 202, which will take effect July 1, was not without public criticism however.

A number of concerned citizens, including Nicki Kenny who has lived in Manchester for the past 24 years, turned up to voice disapproval against the rate raise.

"When we can't meet our budget we cut our costs, we cut our expenditures," Kenny said. "If another tax increase comes to this town, we're leaving, we're moving, we're getting out of Maryland."

"What did you cut," resident and mayor candidate David Thompson asked council.

According to Mayor Chris D'Amario, the town had the option of laying off town employees, charging for trash pickup or adjusting the tax rate.

Town Administrator Steve Miller said that town officials have made all of the cuts they can, including cutting overtime hours for town employees, bulk trash pickups and Christmas tree pickups. The town offices, he said, have also made efforts to reduce utility costs by implementing energy efficient light bulbs and publishing the town's newsletter online.

In other news, D'Amario, who next week will relinquish his title, was honored for his past 12 years of service as the town's mayor with a commemorative Key to the Town of Manchester. Town elections will be held from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.