St. Mary's County Times December 07, 2017 - Page 4

4 The County Times Local News Thursday, December 7, 2017 Commissioners Mull Impact Fee Report By Guy Leonard Staff Writer The impact fee the county govern- ment should be charging for new con- struction and development projects is $10,241, according to a task force report mandated by the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County and presented to them at their Tuesday meeting. The report’s recommendation is still less than half of the possible increase to $25,000 per project impact fee the com- missioners were considering earlier this year when they were seeking a middle way to increase the fee to match the ris- ing cost of services but not make it so high as to squelch development. The task force came up with a cal- culation that put the total impact fee at $21,705 but that was reduced by $8,465 to account for the debt incurred on coun- ty government construction projects and then again by $2,999 which is the same amount as the county’s transfer tax. The report stated that these reductions prevented duplicating property taxes and transfer taxes, which had already been collected. 8th Annual Southern Maryland Bridal Expo S UNDAY , J ANUARY 8 TH 11:30 - 2:30 Bay District Fire Department Braddock Hall The Grand prize will be a new wedding gown from Todayʼs Bride up to a value of $ 1,000.00. The drawing for the Grand prize will be at 2:30 pm. Admission is FREE and tickets are not required. Registration & Information bdvfd.org/content/hall/Bridalshow.cfm For more information contact Patrick Stanley Jr. at 301-863-1029 or hallrental@bdvfd.org 46900 South Shangri-La Drive | Lexington Park, Maryland The report also recommended a tiered impact fee plan based on the square foot- age of the building to be constructed. Under the new plan, a building up to 1,199 square feet would be charged 80 percent of the fee, a building between 1,200 to 2,399 square feet would be charged 90 percent of the recommended impact fee and all buildings above 2,400 square feet would pay 100 percent. The report stated the tier approach en- couraged building of smaller workforce and senior housing units; smaller units had less of an impact on infrastructure such as roads and schools. The report also recommended a phase-in of the higher fees over a five- year period, rising steadily to the final $10,241 fee. Commissioners seemed pleased with the options in the report and said it should go to a public hearing before they made their final decision. “This is a better approach, it’s more gradual,” Commissioner Mike Hewitt said of the plan. guyleonard@countytimes.net Comptroller Warns of W-2 Scam to Get Employee Data, Tax Information The IRS is warning business, payroll and human resource communities about a growing W-2 email scam by which criminals are gaining access to W-2s and other sensitive tax information that employers have about their employees. During National Tax Security Aware- ness Week this week, the IRS has been partnering with state tax agencies – in- cluding the Maryland Comptroller’s Of- fice and tax industry stakeholders  –  to remind people about the importance of data protection. W-2 scams put workers at risk for tax-related identity theft. The IRS rec- ommends that all employers educate employees about this scheme, especially those in human resources and payroll departments. These employees are usu- ally the first targets.  Here are five warning signs about the scam: The thief poses as a company execu- tive, school official or other leader in the organization. Scam emails often start with a simple greeting. It can be something like, “Hey, you in today?” The crook sends an email to an em- ployee with payroll access and requests a list of all employees and their Forms W-2. The thief may even specify the for- mat in which they want the information. Thieves use many different sub- ject lines and use words like “review,” “manual review” or “request.” In some cases, the thief may send a follow up email asking for a wire transfer. Because payroll officials believe they are corresponding with an executive, it may take weeks for someone to realize a data theft occurred. Criminals usu- ally try to use the information quickly, sometimes filing fraudulent tax returns within a day or two. This scam is such a threat that a spe- cial IRS reporting process has been set up. If you think you were a victim of this scam, visit IRS.gov  to find out how to report it. From Barbara Sauers, Maryland Comptroller’s Office