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Charles Village Tax Increase Rejected

The city rejected a plan to increase the surtax in the Charles Village Community Benefits District by 1.4 cents per $100 of assessed value.

The Baltimore Board of Estimates has rejected a proposed surtax increase for the Charles Village Community Benefits District.

The five-member board unanimously voted to reject the district’s proposed fiscal year 2012 budget that included an increase of 1.4 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Following the board’s decision, David Hill, the district’s executive director, said he was disappointed by the decision.

Hill said without the surtax increase the benefits district could possibly have to lay off employees.

“Something has to be cut,” Hill said.

Falling property assessments are expected to reduce revenues to the district by more than $40,000 this coming fiscal year.

The board’s decision to reject the surtax increase came despite the support of the Charles Village, Abell, Old Goucher and Harwood community associations. The four neighborhoods make up the Charles Village Benefits District.

The board has also asked the benefits district to increase its reserve to $200,000, or nearly three months of the district’s budget.

Not everyone was disappointed by the board’s decision.

Christian Wilson, an Old Goucher resident, said he opposed the surtax increase because many residents couldn’t afford it.

“The reason I’m opposing the budget is that 50 percent of our population have an income of less than $25,000 a year,” Wilson said.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s office issued a statement explaining her opposition to the surtax increase.

“Now is not the time to increase any property taxes for any Baltimore City residents or businesses. Two years in a row, we closed $186 million in budget deficits without raising property taxes a single penny,” Rawlings-Blake said in the statement. “We made tough choices, but we confronted the challenge honestly, and I urge CVCBD to follow city government’s lead and implement effective cost‑cutting measures to maintain core services without imposing additional property taxes on Charles Village residents and businesses.”

The Charles Village Benefits District has the lowest surtax rate of the four special tax districts in the city. The Downtown Partnership of Baltimore’s rate is set at 21.3 cents per $100 of assessed value, the Midtown Community Benefits District is set at 13.2 cents and the Waterfront Management District has a rate of 17 cents.

Gordon Steen June 09, 2011 at 02:35 AM
Seems like the richer parts of the community should simply send their checks to the Charles Village Community Benefits District office. If 50% of the population is unemployed or under-employed, the other 50% should show their support for holding the community together. Do we always need government to make us do the right thing?
ralahinn1 June 13, 2011 at 02:32 PM
Why is it " the right thing" that "the rich" always support the others. Having an idea like that will only make" the rich" want to move on to a place that has no such tax . They earned that money and they already spend it in this area. If they move they would spend it in a new area instead. We need no more vacant houses in Baltimore than there are already. The city should be encouraging more residents and businesses to come in and spend money locally, not scare them away with new taxes.

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