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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Commissioners go to bat for scofflaws

When was the last time you called your county commissioner? If you are not one of the fewer than 40 business owners they moved heaven and earth to protect — at the expense of the rest of the county’s taxpayers and business owners — the answer is “Not recently enough.”

Last year, 23 businesses were 10 or more days late renewing their health department permits and another 16 were fewer than 10 days late. Next year, any business that has not renewed its permits more than 15 days before their fees are due will receive a reminder via certified letter and have the $10 processing cost tacked onto their bills. This is even though the bill is not yet past due. In other words, the payment is due 15 days before it’s … well … due.

The commissioners reasoned — especially since it isn’t their $10 — that the small amount is worth it to protect businesses from significant fines. In this reasoning they are correct, or would be if late renewals were rampant. But they aren’t.

While this handful of scofflaws are on the phone with your commissioners, getting them to spend more of your dwindling resources, you will be asked to commit even more of your office resources so scofflaws don’t have to. These are the people the commissioners obviously feel are the most important in the county. 

So next year, when business owners tack that extra $10 onto their payment, they would do well to remember to thank the commissioners for the privilege.