Oakmont Green course owner repeats his request for tax cut

October 20, 1992|By Linda Lowe Morris | Linda Lowe Morris,Staff Writer

Last night the owner of the Oakmont Green Golf Course went before the Hampstead Town Council and repeated his plea for a reduction in the amount of amusement and admission taxes the course pays.

Only if it receives such a reduction would it be economically feasible for the course to stay public, owner Lee Snyder had said at last month's meeting. Private golf clubs do not pay the admissions and amusements tax.

Last month the council agreed to consider the request further.

All members of the town council were in attendance last night as owner Lee Snyder and his lawyer, Chuck Hollman, presented a proposal whereby the amusement and admission taxes would be waived for the Oakmont Green Golf Course.

In return the owners, which include several members of the Snyder family, would give the town a $20,000 "payment in lieu of taxes" in January of each year.

Currently, the Snyders pay a tax of 10 percent on greens fees, golf cart rentals and driving range fees. The tax is collected monthly by the state of Maryland but is supposed to be returned to the town of Hampstead less certain collection fees. Although the Snyders began paying the tax four months ago, the town has yet to see any of the money, according to town manager John Riley.

Members of the town council have the power to reduce the amount paid, which, over the course of a year, the Snyders anticipate would reach $45,000.

Under their new proposal, the flat fee paid in January would be subject to an escalator clause to cover inflation and increased business at the golf course.

"We're still in odds as to whether we could legally do that," Mayor C. Clinton Becker said.

"If payment in lieu of taxes is not feasible," said Mr. Snyder, "then a 5 percent amusement tax is in the same ball park."

The council plans to address the matter next month after consulting an attorney.

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