Thursday, May 24 - Ocean City Stands Behind Landmark Business
OCEAN CITY - Resort officials this week agreed to send an official letter of support to the appropriate agencies in the state for the beleaguered Trimper's Rides amusement park at the foot of the Boardwalk, which is threatened with extinction due in large part to staggering increases in property taxes for the massive complex.
It came to light earlier this month the historic amusement park is considering shutting down after occupying the site at the foot of the Boardwalk for 120 years because the revenue it generates has not kept pace with ever-increasing property tax assessments. Family members said earlier this month the most recent assessment of the property's value showed an increase of 163 percent in the last three years from $29.6 million to $77.9 million, representing an increase of $500,000 in taxes owed on the property.
While most everyone agrees an effort has to be made to save the historic park, no one is certain just what the remedy might be. The Trimper family is currently appealing the most recent assessment for the park, and local and state officials have vowed to work together on some sort of tax relief plan for the property, but it still remains uncertain if this summer could be the last for Trimper's Rides, at least in its current configuration.
The issue arose again this week during the Mayor and Council meeting on Monday when a concerned citizen urged the local elected officials to do something to save Trimper's.
'That amusement park is part of our soul,' said resident and businessman Rob Greenebaum during the public comment period of the meeting. 'I don't think any of you want to let this slip away on your watch.'
Council members said they were well aware of the situation and were considering what steps to take to ensure the park's continued existence. Mayor Rick Meehan said the issue had attracted national attention.
'We've all heard a lot about this,' he said. 'I've taken a lot of calls from out-of-town media and all they want to talk about is Trimper's Rides. It's an institution and an important part of our economy.'
For the full story, see The Dispatch tomorrow.