This Monday evening brought the news that the Council of Anne Arundel County in the state of Maryland has given the nod to the legislation which will grant a casino operator with property tax relief amounting to up to $36 million. The only condition is that the company agrees to build a bigger convention center than what it was initially stated in the project plans.
The case is better known for its PILOT abbreviating which stands for payment in lieu of taxes bill. The said PILOT will bring the Cordish Companies no worries in the next 30 years, as it will provide up to $1.2 million in property tax relief over the span of each year. At the moment the casino operator is planning an important expansion and the area is about to receive its new hotel and convention center which will be adjacent to the already existing Live! Casino.
It could be recalled that earlier this year the company introduced a plan for the construction of a convention center which is going to feature a total of 1,500 seats. Later the number was slightly reduced to 1,400. Following this announcement the county authorities proceeded to ask the casino operator to expand the number of seats which will be available in the convention center and make them at least 4,000.
This change was explained with the several high schools which exist in the county and the graduations which happen every year. The location would fit well in the idea of a closed space graduation and other events could also be hosted there all year round. The country will then use the building for free, but for the time being the schools have not agreed to the idea.
Opinions Rgearidng the Convention Center Project
The PILOT comes as a replacement to a previously discussed and later approved tax agreement, which failed to bring any results. The current proposition came as a request by Steve Schuh, Country Executive and it was further funded by Pete Smith, County Councilman, D-Severn. The leading argument of Mr. Smith was that this new convention center and its purpose as a graduation venue for thousands of kids in the country is going to bring them back home and graduate high school.
At the moment all graduations are being held outside the county which could be easily changed for the better with the new convention center. Before the voting of the proposal there was a long period of public hearing and some residents stated that the project was going to utilize public funds in order to finance private gains. The Chief Executive Officer of the Central Maryland Chamber of Commerce, Raj Kudchadkar, supported the idea of construction and stated that the county is expected to benefit financially from the construction of the venue. Ultimately, the Cordish Companies stated their support of the larger number of seats and an overall larger convention venue