Article from Reason by Christian Britschgi.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you want more of something, don’t tax the dickens out of it. This principle appears to have eluded the town of Seat Pleasant, Maryland, which jacked up five businesses’ property taxes by 800 percent as part of a scheme to attract more businesses to the community.

Now two of the targeted companies are suing, claiming the small suburb—located just outside D.C—violated everything from their own charter to the U.S. Constitution when it imposed the tax.

“It is backward economic thinking. It’s borderline racketeering,” says Steven Franco, who owns and operates the Discount Mart and is one of the plaintiffs in the suit.

Franco saw his property taxes shoot up from less than $6,000 to over $55,000 in less than a year. This, he says, has had an “extremely adverse impact” on his business. “People’s schedules have been cut. Profits have been almost depleted….One guy had to get laid off.”

Read the entire article at Reason.