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Renew Baltimore: 'Property taxes are too high' and so are frustration levels

Posted at 5:20 PM, Jun 20, 2024

BALTMORE — Taxes of all shapes and sizes have been on everyone’s mind. Renew Baltimore, a group of economists and former city officials, feels like property taxes, like everything else Baltimoreans have to pay for, are too high.

They say that Baltimore City’s property taxes are close to double those of every county in Maryland. Moreover, the members of Renew feel that is the main reason that so many people are moving out of the city.

With 23,000 signatures behind their petition, the group's plan would lower the tax rate slowly over a period of seven years. Mayor Brandon Scott issued the statement below in response to the proposal.

“This dramatically short-sighted and naive proposal would bankrupt the City of Baltimore and rob its residents of necessary city services that so many of our families rely on. Just last month, Baltimore’s Bureau of the Budget and Management Research released a comprehensive report [] that outlined the devastating impact that this misguided ballot initiative would have on Baltimoreans, and why a number of the effort’s claims are dubious at best.

“This proposal does not grapple with the financial reality of our city, or have a real understanding of the impact of our status as an independent city that does not receive a share of state sales tax – like most of our peer cities. But for those pushing this amendment, the cuts to city services and negative consequences are a feature, not a bug. They are the same political forces that are misusing the ballot initiative process to institute term limits, attempted to implement a recall system, and are now attempting to shrink the City Council.

“This proposal would be bad for all Baltimoreans, and worst of all for Baltimore’s working families that rely on our city services the most. Everything from trash and recycling pickup, adequate fire and EMS response, Recreation & Parks facilities and programming, our beloved public library system, and thousands of city employees’ jobs will be on the line.”