Each of Carroll County's five commissioners addressed citizens and members of the business community at the annual State of the County Address Tuesday morning at the Carroll Arts Center. The annual event is hosted by the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce.
During fiscal year 2013, Carroll County realized over $30 million in business
capital investments, according to Commissioner Dave Roush, and a gain of nearly 400,000 square feet of new or renovated
commercial industrial space.
"Throughout the recent years of recession and post recession, Carroll County has been fortunate to survive and even thrive," Roush told members of the local business community.
Roush said that in addition to the business sector growing, Carroll's citizens are also thriving.
"Almost 64 percent of our taxable income comes from taxpayers making greater than $100,000 per year," Roush said.
Carroll County's employment rate, at 5.2 percent, is below both the national and state average, according to Roush.
Roush said Carroll County benefits from a highly diversified tax base, with the top 5 taxpayers being:
- Carroll Lutheran Village
- Penguin Random House
Carroll County has been able to survive tough economic times because of its many advantages, according to Roush who touted the County's strong business base, a top-ranking public education system, a highly educated workforce, opportunities for higher education, a highly recognized hospital center and the designation as the safest county in the state.
Carroll County experienced an overall job growth of nearly 800 jobs in 2012, Roush said.
Commissioner Doug Howard said that the county's economic success would not be possible without the county's strong education system. He said local leadership must look ahead to plan for the future of Carroll County and increased needs of fire companies and police, nonprofits, veterans and infrastructure.
"We must establish a long term strategy for school funding
balanced by a long term strategy for tax relief," Howard said.
Howard said the solution lies in economic development throughout the county.
"We have to continue to lower taxes
and invest in education. Education is tied directly to the success of economic
development," Howard said. "It's not the best way to get there, it's the only way to get there."
Check out this clip of Commissioner Robin Frazier delivering part of her address in song. Watch the entire State of the County Address on the Carroll County Government Youtube page.
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