Letters

LETTERS

December 23, 2007

Meade developer to pay standard fee

Anne Arundel County fully supports the 1.7 million square-foot expansion project proposed on federal property at Fort George G. Meade. This project is part of the Enhanced Use Lease program that is part of the military-base strategy working throughout Maryland. Our support, however, will also include safeguarding a fair deal for all Anne Arundel County taxpayers.

Del. Steve Schuh's comment in The Sun ("Firm may ease county ills," Dec. 19) implies that Anne Arundel County seeks to apply a new tax on this property. This is not the case. In reality, the county is only seeking the same payment due from any private commercial project that is developed anywhere in the county or the state.

Anne Arundel County's position is that the developer, Trammell Crow Co., will provide a payment in lieu of taxes equal to the standard taxes that would be due any private, for-profit, real estate in the county. In return, the county is providing an array of services plus very specific infrastructure improvements that will benefit the EUL office complex and Fort Meade.

To proceed otherwise would mean that residents of Pasadena, Glen Burnie, Brooklyn Park and other areas of the county would be contributing an inordinate share of their tax dollars for services and infrastructure construction benefiting the EUL project.

Anne Arundel County will continue to be a good host for federal programs that bring family-supporting jobs to our citizens. County Executive John R. Leopold has emphasized fairness in all of these dealings.

Robert L. Hannon

The writer is president and chief executive of the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp.

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