Waterfront public housing a tax loss I refer to the...


April 21, 2002

Waterfront public housing a tax loss

I refer to the Sunday, April 14, 2002, letters on waterfront public housing ("Waterfront no place for public housing" and "Public housing on waterfront is a bad deal").

I never lived in public housing, however, the structure, outside and inside appearance of two of the houses that I grew up in could have been mistaken for public housing. My father worked hard and long hours and saved in order that we could move up into a more quality home. This influence and values that he instilled in me caused me to work hard and earn a college education on my own going to school at night.

For years I, too, had yearned for a home on the water. All of the waterfront homes and lots were priced totally out of my means. However, in 1997, I found an unimproved waterfront lot in Ocean Pines. It was nothing but scrub trees and grasses and for a 60-foot-wide by 90-foot-deep lot, I [paid] $89,000, with taxes being $98 a year. Two years later, when the infrastructure, roads, sewer, electricity, and water were installed, the lot prices jumped to $190,000 to $275,000 per lot with a whopping increase in taxes. I built a vacation home two-thirds the size of my home in Odenton, Md. The new home was assessed at two-and-a-half times that of my Odenton home and the real estate taxes jumped to nearly three times that of my Odenton home. You can bet that this will never happen to the waterfront public housing, and we the public will pay the price and the state will lose the tax revenue. We just cannot afford to be that benevolent to our less fortunate neighbors.

Richard G. Clayton


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