Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s proposed 10-year fiscal plan aims to reduce property taxes nearly 50 cents by fiscal year 2022 primarily through new fees and revenue sources.
Property tax relief would be welcome in North Baltimore, where many neighborhoods already pay the highest tax per residence in the city. Baltimore already has the highest property taxes in the state, $2.268 per $100 of assessed value, and the highest income tax rate, 3.20 percent, allowed by state law. Rawlings-Blake has repeatedly said high taxes are standing in the way of the goal of attracting 10,000 new families to the city.
But the mayor's plan depends heavily on new fees, and so far there have been few details as to what it will cost residents.
- The mayor’s plan calls for the creation of a storm water remediation fee. The plan does not specify what the fee will be. But it does stipulate that the funds will be used to fund an additional 2-cent property tax in fiscal years 2021 and 2022.
- The plan also calls for the creation of a solid waste enterprise fund. The fee, which there is currently no proposed figure for, would be charged to collect trash and recycling in the city. But that would be off set with "dollar-for-dollar property tax relief in the General Fund budget relative to the first-year fees established," according to the plan.
- The plan also includes nixing a proposed reduction of the parking tax rate in 2014 and maintaining the current 20 percent. This fee, charged to monthly and daily customers at garages, partially goes to supporting the free Charm City Circulator. The administration argues the tax is more equitable because it also impacts commuters who use city services but live outside of Baltimore.
- The mayor’s plan also calls for additional revenues through a billboard tax; a taxi cab excise tax; “return on investment” on city conduits used by companies; and leasing network space to businesses on a proposed fiber optic network.
Read the mayor's entire 10-year financial plan here.