Monday, July 16, 2012
Councilman Bill Henry has proposed term limits, reducing the council and increasing the council's power over the budget.
Baltimore city government could look and run differently if Councilman Bill Henry has his way. Henry, who represents the York Road corridor in North Baltimore, has proposed four amendments to the City Charter: term limits for elected officials; reducing the number of council seats; allowing the council to add funds to a proposed budget; and reduce the amount of votes to override a mayor’s veto Henry's amendments would fundamentally alter the power structure of city government, which strongly favors the mayor. The council would not escape unchanged, as Henry also wants to shrink the size of the city's legislature. "I think I can honestly say, with the possible exception of the term limits, which I’ve gone back and forth on over the course …
Monday, June 11, 2012
Find out how your City Council member voted on a 3 cents bottle tax increase.
The City Council laid their cards down tonight, and passing a 3 cents increase of the bottle tax now appears to be just a formality. The council voted 11-4 to pass the tax increase, which will now go on to a final passage next week. The Taxation, Finance and Economic Development Committee voted to move the bill forward without a recommendation earlier in the day. Scroll through the pictures above to find out how and why your council member voted.
Councilman Bill Henry, who represents the York Road corridor, attempted to strip the 3 cent bottle tax increase.
Councilman Bill Henry made one last attempt to stop a 3-cent hike of the city’s bottle tax—and failed. Henry, during a Taxation, Finance and Economic Development Committee voting session, tried to amend the bill to strip the increase, but remove a sunset provision from the bill. Henry, who represents the York Road corridor, opposes the legislation because be said he believes it will put city businesses at a competitive disadvantage compared to Baltimore County businesses. The northern border of Henry’s district touches the city-county line. He has also argued the city can leverage the $300 million in bonds that are needed for school construction, and rehabilitation without increasing the bottle tax. Henry has proposed a tax on billboards …
Friday, June 8, 2012
Councilman Bill Henry believes a tax on billboards could be part of an alternative to raising the city's bottle tax.
Councilman Bill Henry’s proposed tax on billboards will go before the whole City Council on Monday, but it’s unknown if the bill has the votes to pass. Henry, who represents the York Road corridor, said that so far, he has spoken to several of his colleagues that told him they weren’t opposed to the bill, but heard rumors it doesn’t have enough votes to pass. "No one has said 'I’m not going to vote for this and I know seven other [council members] who won’t vote for this,'" Henry said. He attributed the rumors to lobbyists who oppose the tax. Calls seeking comment from Clear Channel, the company that owns the vast majority of the billboards in the city, were not returned. "That’s what lobbyists say when they want to kill something, when …
Monday, April 30, 2012
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…
Monday, April 23, 2012
After four years Councilman Bill Henry's bill, which would require stores in certain areas to have licenses to operate over night, appears likely to be passed.
A bill that would require some businesses in areas zoned for light commercial uses to purchase licenses to stay open overnight is on the verge of becoming law in Baltimore. On Monday the City Council approved moving the bill—with some slight amendments— along to a final vote. Councilman Bill Henry has been working for four years to pass the legislation. The bill was initially drafted to help constituents along The Alameda who were complaining about crowds congregating at an all night convenience store and gas station. The bill requires any businesses in areas zoned for light commercial that do not already have a liquor license governing hours of operations to purchase a license to stay open between midnight and 5 a.m. Restaurants with …
Monday, March 5, 2012
Councilman Bill Henry wants all land lease funds from a city slots casino to go to school construction.
UPDATED (3:55 p.m.)—A councilman who represents North Baltimore wants all funds from the land lease of a proposed slot machine casino to go to school construction. A Baltimore City Council resolution is scheduled to be introduced Monday calling on Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to dedicate all revenue from the land lease from a proposed video lottery terminal be dedicated to school construction and rehabilitation. Councilman Bill Henry, who represents several North Baltimore neighborhoods, is the resolution’s sponsor. Henry said he introduced the resolution in part to show education advocates other ways that funds could be raised for new construction without increasing the city's bottle tax. He said that he would supoprt splitting …
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Patch wants to know whether our readers believe building a youth jail in Baltimore is a good idea or if they money should be used differently.
Maryland has proposed building a jail in Baltimore to hold juveniles charged with crimes as adults. The state anticipates the cost of building the detention center to be about $70 million. During Monday night’s Baltimore City Council hearing, Councilman Bill Henry, who represents neighborhoods such as Guilford and Rosebank, introduced a resolution calling on the state to spend that money in more “effective and fiscally responsible” ways. The resolution calls on the state to use those funds on recreation centers and schools as better ways to ensure public safety. Should A Youth Jail Be Built in Baltimore? Tell Patch why or why not in the comments.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Some member of the City Council who represent North Baltimore want to see more details of proposals from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's State of the City Address.
Following Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s State of the City address on Monday, some City Council members who represent North Baltimore said they want to see the details of the mayor’s proposal. Councilman Bill Henry, who represents neighborhoods such as Guilford and Radnor-Winston, said he wants to see the details of the mayor’s plan to reduce property taxes, which are currently $2.268 per $100 of assessed value, by 20 cents by 2020. The proposal would mean a $400 savings for the owner of a home valued at $200,000 in eight years. “It sounds great,” Henry said. Henry was critical of some parts of the speech and said that some of the rhetoric was just that, and nothing more. “There’s a point where she was talking about how we shouldn’t just…
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Councilman Bill Henry will reintroduce a bill requiring businesses operating overnight to obtain a special permit.
Councilman Bill Henry said he will reintroduce legislation requiring businesses operating between midnight and 4 a.m. to get a special license to stay open in Baltimore City. The new license would be renewed annually. Businesses with a liquor license that operate past midnight would be exempt from obtaining another license. Henry said this would give communities a stronger ability to address “problem” businesses. Henry initially introduced the bill in April 2008 to help a community deal with a gas station attracting the "wrong element" in his district. It received a committee hearing in 2009. During that hearing, Henry said too many good businesses, such as Royal Farms, were objecting to the proposal. Follow North Baltimore Patch on …