.

Councilman Proposes Outdoor Ad Tax

Councilman Bill Henry believes the tax could result in about $1 million in new revenue for the city.

UPDATED (11:33 PM)—A City Council member who represents North Baltimore is proposing an excise tax on outdoor advertisements such as billboards.

The legislation, sponsored by Councilman Bill Henry, would charge $5 per square foot for advertising more than 10 square feet and $15 per square foot for electronic advertising.

"We look high and low for revenue in times like these and when we look high we see billboards," Henry said. 

The legislation was introduced during Monday’s City Council meeting.

Henry first introduced similar legislation two years ago. He said the tax would generate about $1 million a year in revenue for the city, based on 2010.

When Henry introduced the bill it received a committee hearing but was never moved to the floor because it did not have the necessary votes to pass.

Henry said at that time his colleagues were swayed by an argument by Clear Channel, who owns 90 percent of city billboards, that a tax would be detrimental to their business. He said in the previous two years that Clear Channel has continued to experience growth, and has a larger operating budget than the city.

He said that if his colleagues are willing to tax residents and small business owners with revenue generators, such as an increased bottle tax, that he hopes they will be willing to tax a multi-national corporation that made $196 million in earnings last fiscal year.

The proposed tax comes at the same time the council is supposed to receive Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s , which had to make cuts to balance a $48 million deficit.

Follow North Baltimore Patch on Facebook and Twitter.

ralahinn1 April 30, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Now this is a good idea
Able Baker April 30, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Throw in a vacant billboard amendment where unmaintained billboards get torn down and we're really talking.
slangwhang May 01, 2012 at 12:32 PM
TAX TAX TAX Baltimore's only Creative Solutions! WHAT A MINDSET!
slangwhang May 01, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Henry said at that time his colleagues were swayed by an argument by Clear Channel, who owns 90 percent of city billboards, that a tax would be detrimental to their business. He said in the previous two years that Clear Channel has continued to experience growth, and has a larger operating budget than the city. I love that! They're richer than us LET's TAX THEM! When will Baltimorians Black, White, Hispanic, all of us......finally see the TRUE COLOR OF POLITICIANS in Baltimore? GREEN with ENVY!
AnnKangarouse May 01, 2012 at 01:21 PM
"We look high and low for revenue in times like these and when we look high we see billboards," Henry said. And when we look at Henry what do we see??? Those of us in the 4th district should get a tax break for having had to endurre that hideous billboard of Henry when he was 'running for office'. We can start saving $$ by eliminating the perks that Henry and his colleagues are given. Notice Henry didn't have a problem charging his food alcohol and donut bill to us??
AH May 04, 2012 at 12:27 AM
The councilman's idea has merit. I look forward to learning more. Along with the reasons cited, billboards intrude on architectural and landscape sightlines and rarely are any kind of visual treat. And oh, Iam Gayle? Please please get unstuck and find some new material. You seem mentally superglued to four hackneyed whines: slamming Mr. Henry, slamming the city, bemoaning some vast conspiracy that allegedly did in your former boss, and caterwauling for someone to call in the feds. On the last point, you could just give them a ring yourself and let us know how that goes. On the first three, perhaps it's time to consider embracing public service yourself in some way beyond Patch and Brew posts. Although I have a different take on things, I do believe you care, so go for it!
AnnKangarouse June 25, 2012 at 05:17 PM
AH- No thanks. Your advice is not needed here. Thanks though! You've had no involvement in the issues that (as you say) I 'whine' about. What I have to say and how I say it is my buisiness, based on hvaing been directly involved for many years. Oh and you've been following me on the Brew site too? Howz about my FB page? Again, though it's a free country and you certainly have every right to express an opinion, however the commentary I make, etc and so forth is not 'conspiracy', but rather statements relating to events that have actually happened.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something