The 60th Administration is doing its part to help foster an environment where small businesses continue to thrive and prosper for years to come.
CONTACT: Susan Harding, Public Information Officer, 301-600-1385
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, November 26, 2012
The Mayor and Board of Aldermen Continue to Promote an Environment That Promotes Job Creation and Investment
Frederick, MD – The 60th Administration is doing its part to help foster an environment where small businesses continue to thrive and prosper for years to come.
Fiscal Responsibility: The 60th Administration protected City residents by ending a trend of subsidizing more than their share of County services. With the transition to allowing City residents to directly receive the savings in County taxes when City and County property taxes are combined, City of Frederick property owners experienced a $0.04 overall decrease in property taxes while continuing to receive the same level of service.
Expanding Frederick’s Economic Base and Improving Local Employment Opportunities:
The City of Frederick has a multipronged strategy to help expand Frederick’s economic base and improve local employment opportunities through continued investments in infrastructure and providing inducements to private economic expansion in an effort to improve employment opportunities for all City residents.
Critical Capital Investments that will create positive change for Frederick’s small businesses:
• Funding and beginning construction in the first quarter of Calendar Year 2013 Phase II of Carroll Creek Linear Park. to continue the economic development catalytic effect the previous phase had in Downtown Frederick and replicate this in Downtown and East Frederick.
• Continue to facilitate the construction of a full-service 200+ room Downtown Frederick Hotel
Providing the incentives to allow Frederick’s businesses to expand during these challenging economic times:
• Updated, expanded tax credits for historic properties, commercial properties located along the Golden Mile, the Downtown Arts & Entertainment Property Rehabilitation Tax Credit, Vacant Commercial Property Rehabilitation Tax Credit, and Brownfields Property Mitigation Tax Credit to incentivize investment in our community.
• Established the New Jobs Property Tax Credit Program – a performance-based credit that will award a tax credit based on expansion of a facility and the number of new, permanent full time positions created over a two year period. The New Jobs Tax Credit program targets businesses expanding by 5,000 square feet and adding at least 25 jobs over a two year period. The new tax credit program provides incentives for larger employees that occupy at least 250,000 square feet of new space and employ more than 2,500 workers. The property tax credits are worth 52 percent of the increased assessment for the first two years, 39 percent in years three and four and 26 percent in the last two years.
• Impact Fee Payment plan - In an effort to provide greater flexibility during these challenging times for small to mid-sized businesses, the City established a water and sewer impact fee payment plan. This option allows a business or property owner to pay their water and sewer impact fees over three years. A property owner can put 25% down and pay the rest in installments.
• With the passage of the Fiscal Year 2013 budget, we have established a $70,000 business incentive match program that will, for the first time, allow Frederick-based companies an opportunity to receive a required local government match for State issued business grants and loans. This will allow Frederick companies to retain a competitive edge in the regional economy
Tackling Blighted and Vacant Properties that deter investment in City neighborhoods:
Mayor McClement established a fifteen member Blighted and Vacant Ad Hoc Committee, composed of residents and brokers to explore national best practices, review current City codes and regulations and develop recommendations to tackle habitually blighted and vacant properties.
Policies that will help strengthen Frederick’s business districts and neighborhoods include:
• The creation of a Blighted Building Database to help track maintenance code violations and build a case for future enforcement actions;
• Development of a compounding fine system for code enforcement violations so that habitual offenders with three or more building code violations within a 12 month period pay more for each violation;
• Provide a lien waiver for the purchaser of a blighted property if they agree to rehabilitate and tenant the building by submitting a remediation plan to the City and posting bonds equal to the renovation cost. This will help remove barriers to the repositioning of buildings.
• Develop and adopt a Blighted Building Property Tax which assesses an increased city property tax rate of five times the base rate on properties that are on the Blighted Buildings Database for a period of more than one year. This is intended to incentivize property owners to maintain their properties in a safe manner.
• Adopt a property receivership program, allowing the appointment of third party receivers to manage, rehabilitate, demolish, market and sell distressed commercial assets. Properties can only move forward to receivership under the sanction of the Board of Aldermen. City vacancy rates are declining but we can do more to turn these empty buildings and lots into productive spaces.
Continuing to Invest in Public Safety:
The Mayor and Board of Aldermen have funded, trained and equipped 141 police officers (up from 138) and this investment has resulted in a continuous decline in Part I crimes over the past twenty years. We strive to protect people and property in our community and an active, community oriented police department is the method to achieving this goal.
As a result of the prolonged recession, the City has moved forward with new policies and initiatives to continue to foster greater economic growth and reinvestment in our local economy through the creation of new jobs, the use of locally based services, and attracting employees and their families to Frederick.
Frederick is resilient, resourceful, and can overcome adversity. From the Civil War and the Great Depression to the Carroll Creek Flood of 1976 and the present Great Recession, we are a City that is forward looking. We must continue to have the courage to plan for the future. Let’s do our part to support Frederick’s small businesses and buy local.
Please contact The City of Frederick Department of Economic Development at (301) 600-6360 / firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how the City can assist existing Frederick businesses or companies that are interested in locating in the community.