Irene Revenue Damage Estimated At $2 Million

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot this week announced the estimated revenue impact on state coffers due to Hurricane Irene’s wrath on Ocean City came in at around $2 million.

According to analysis from the Comptroller’s Bureau of Revenue Estimates, Maryland lost more than $2 million in direct revenue last weekend, including an estimated $1.75 million in sales tax revenue and another $150,000 in withholding taxes due to the evacuation of Ocean City.

State officials also estimated a $60,000 loss in gas tax revenue as weekend trips were cancelled and also reported another $45,000 of toll revenue at the Bay Bridge that went uncollected when the trips to the Eastern Shore were postponed and the spans were closed during the peak of the storm on Saturday. In addition, it is estimated another $40,000 in admissions and amusement tax revenue was lost when Ocean City was forced to evacuate.

“Ocean City is one of Maryland’s most powerful economic engines and a lost weekend at the height of the summer tourist season will certainly have an effect on our state’s finances, just as they have taken an obvious toll on businesses that are already dealing with tough economic times,” said Franchot this week. “Given the disastrous impact of this storm on other parts of our country, however, I am profoundly grateful that Ocean City and the state of Maryland as a whole weathered this storm with minimal injury or loss of life. I am also thrilled that Ocean City is open for business once again, and with beautiful weather on the horizon, I encourage all Marylanders to take advantage of the last weeks of summer and head back to the beach.”