- On Air Program Guide
- A Blue View
- Brain Talk
- Cellar Notes
- Choral Arts Classics
- The Environment in Focus
- Gil Sandler’s Baltimore Stories
- Humanities Connection
- Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast
- Midday with Dan Rodricks
- The Morning Economic Report
- Radio Kitchen
- The Signal
- Take Five
- Your Maryland
- Public Commentary
- War of 1812 Stories
Fraser Smith's Essay: February 14, 2013
You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.
February 14, 2013
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake wants to get out ahead of a coming financial tsunami. WYPR’s Senior News Analyst Fraser Smith comments in his weekly essay.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake proposes a laundry list of nips and tucks around the edges to fend off bankruptcy and promote growth.
But there’s at least one other approach. Baltimore would prosper if it slashed property taxes by 50 percent, bringing it into line with surrounding counties.
And pigs can fly – as they say in Annapolis.
The assertion about a rosy, lower-tax future comes from Anirban Basu, the economist, WYPR commentator and, it seems, public provocateur.
Basu says a solution is right there in front us: Just cut property taxes. Do it incrementally. Stay on course. And they will come, the people that is … to Baltimore, a field of urban dreams.
Others are saying: Show us examples of cities that cut taxes dramatically, maintained public services and grew.
The conversation, at least, has begun.
Baltimore’s plight has been coming into focus even before the mayor spent $460,000 for an assessment of our fiscal future. A regional task force was announced recently with the idea of finding ways to prop up the Baltimore region, the city in particular.
House Speaker Mike Busch says the region – and the entire state – has to realize that Baltimore’s port, its hospitals, is cultural institutions and its human capital have to be supported. The city’s taxes are at least double surrounding counties and the median income is $39,000, while the state’s is $77,000. It’s not sustainable Busch says his panel, led by Delegate Keiffer Mitchell of Baltimore, is ready to talk to anyone with ideas including Anirban Basu.
It’s not a particularly good time to be mounting a rescue mission, but the mayor and Speaker Busch say time is not on our side.
There’s never a good time, says Busch. Run into the fire. Hope it doesn’t get any worse.
IN FOCUS TODAY
Friday, May 17, 2013 - 4:41am
More than 17,000 Baltimore students miss 20 or more days of school a year. Many of these...
Friday, May 17, 2013 - 4:37am
WYPR's Fraser Smith and Karen Hosler talk about changes to the horse racing industry in Maryland...
Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 7:00am
Attorney General Doug Gansler may run for governor in 2014, but he's moving toward a decision...