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New legislation aims to have more public safety officers live in Baltimore

Posted at 11:39 AM, Sep 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-11 18:18:08-04

New legislation was introduced on Monday to try to get more police officers and firefighters to live in Baltimore City. 

The 2017 Public Safety Officers Property Tax Credit program would give full time workers with the fire department, police department, or sheriff's office, a $2,500 annual credit on their property tax bills, if they moved into Baltimore City.

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Mayor Pugh started the legislation when she was a member of the Maryland General Assembly. 

“This tax credit will serve as an important tool in our effort to honor our public safety officers who provide an invaluable service to the people of Baltimore,” said Mayor Pugh.  “I believe the passage of this legislation will encourage this important group to make our City their home.”

Not only will this help the city recruit more officers, city councilman Eric Costello says it will help the economy as well. He said the public officers will be buying groceries and supporting other businesses that could help the city grow. 

Currently, the Baltimore Police, fire and sheriff's departments have 5,233 employees, but only about 30 percent actually live in the city. 

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis says this tax break will be a much needed recruiting tool to attract new and local talent into the police department, "When they consider where to live, to have a tax incentive like this that keeps money in their pockets, that's not a small chunk of change so I think it is a great idea."

This tax credit would only be applicable to the employee's primary residence and be good as long as they are commissioned by the agency.

The bill is being introduced on Monday in a city council hearing.