Double Taxation as Seen Through a Kent County Crab Fest by David Foster


I have really appreciated the great coverage provided by the Chestertown Spy to help more residents understand the issues of Double Taxation and Tax Differentials in Kent County. Unfortunately, the response from many candidates for County Commissioner has been: “We understand that you think the current situation is unfair and we would love to help but we just don’t have the money.” With this in mind, I would like to put this discussion into the context of another local institution – A Kent County Crab Fest:

Imagine for the moment that you and your friends are headed out to a local crab house for a wonderful dinner. Imagine, also, that the good friends joining you include folks not only from Betterton, Chestertown, Galena, Millington and Rock Hall but also from many other fine areas of Kent County outside of those incorporated towns. 

When you enter the restaurant you all pay the same price for your meal (just as all Kent County residents currently pay the same county property tax rate, regardless of location). Unfortunately, when the food arrives, you soon notice that while those who live outside the town limits receive a full crab dinner with all the trimmings; those who live within an incorporated town receive a few breadsticks, perhaps an ear of corn and maybe some Old Bay seasoning – but NO Crab!

When you ask the waiter: “Where’s my crab?” The proprietor politely responds: “We’d love to help you but we just don’t have the money.” “Since you live in a municipality, if you want crab, you will have to pay double, just as you already do for public safety and for street repair.”

So: The next time you see your favorite candidate for County Commissioner (or State Delegate or State Senator) and you don’t have time for a lengthy discussion, just ask: Where’s the Crab?” and pretty soon, they’ll get your drift.

David Foster,

Chestertown, Town Council


Letters to Editor

  1. Michael McDowell says

    Well said, David, and keep up the pressure; the voters need to, also. The three County Commissioners need to respond to voters. Why should we support any of them this time? I voted for none of the three in the recent primaries. Time for new blood which will not say “Not my department.” Utterly unimpressive.

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