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State Agency Rejects Frederick Boondoggle

Economic & Fiscal Policy, Government Transparency, Taxes

PRESS RELEASES

NOVEMBER 11, 2016 Bookmark and Share

ROCKVILLE, MD (November 11, 2016) – The Maryland Public Policy Institute commends the Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA) for declining to provide taxpayer subsidies for a massive hotel and conference center in downtown Frederick, Maryland. The MSA voted Tuesday against a plan to issue up to $15 million in bond funds for the project.

The Institute this year published studies highlighting Frederick County’s efforts to subsidize the massive hotel development with $31 million in taxpayer dollars including tax hikes on competitor hotels, raising questions about why government is picking winners and losers in the local economy. Find the Institute’s studies at www.mdpolicy.org.

The Frederick County Council this summer voted to raise the hotel rental tax from 3 percent to 5 percent and dedicate a portion of the proceeds to the Downtown Hotel & Conference Center (DH&CC).  The law would have allowed the DH&CC to receive back up to 85 percent of the hotel rental tax it pays.  The council’s vote meant self-financed hotels across the county must now pay more in taxes in order to subsidize elected officials’ favored project, the DH&CC.

“It is time to kick corporate welfare to the curb in Frederick,” said Christopher B. Summers, president of the Institute.  “We applaud the Stadium Authority for recognizing the many flaws in Frederick’s proposal.  If the market truly demands a new convention center in downtown Frederick, developers wouldn’t need $31 million in taxpayer subsidies to build it.  Private investors would line up to fund it themselves. We hope that Frederick’s elected officials will demonstrate humility and refrain from choosing which of its local hotels succeed and which do not.”  

View the full reports at www.mdpolicy.org.

About the Maryland Public Policy Institute: Founded in 2001, the Maryland Public Policy Institute is a nonpartisan public policy research and education organization that focuses on state policy issues. The Institute’s mission is to formulate and promote public policies at all levels of government based on principles of free enterprise, limited government, and civil society.  Learn more at mdpolicy.org.

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