© 2023 WYPR
WYPR 88.1 FM Baltimore WYPF 88.1 FM Frederick WYPO 106.9 FM Ocean City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Critics take on Renew Baltimore's plan to slash city property taxes

Critics say the proposed November ballot initiative that would cut city property taxes by more than 40% over the next six years would undermine the city's capacity to provide many essential social services. (credit Yianni Mathioudakis / Flickr Creative Commons)

A Tuesday, Aug. 2 update on this story: the effort by Renew Baltimore, the coalition that was trying to collect enough signatures to place a referendum on the November ballot to reduce property taxes in the city, has fallen short. They collected about 9,000 signatures. They needed 10,000. They have vowed to try again in 2024.

Last Monday, we talked here on Midday about a proposal by a coalition called Renew Baltimore to have voters approve two charter amendments that would dictate a dramatic reduction in the property tax rate in Baltimore city. The proposal would reduce the rate by 44% over a period of six years, from 2.248% to 1.25% per $100,000 of value.

The property tax rate in the city of Baltimore is roughly twice as high as any other jurisdiction in Maryland. For decades, candidates for public office in the city have feigned interest in reducing taxes for homeowners and businesses, and some modest reductions have taken place from time to time.

Renew Baltimore thinks that decisive, dramatic action is needed, and they want to enshrine it in the city charter so the annual reductions can’t be reversed by whomever happens to be in elected office at the time.

Last week, Tom spoke with Andre Davis, a former federal judge and Baltimore Solicitor, and the economist Anirban Basu, the CEO of the Sage Policy Group, who are members of the Renew Baltimore Coalition. They spoke in favor of the proposal.

They have been collecting signatures on a petition to bring the matter to referendum in November. They need to collect 10,000 signatures. The deadline for that effort is today (Monday, Auguest 1).

We'd like to continue that conversation today on Midday, with two people who oppose the specific plan put forth by Renew Baltimore. Robert Cenname is the Budget Director of Baltimore City…

Matt Gallagher is the former Chief of Staff for Gov. Martin O’Malley. He’s the President of the Goldseker Foundation...

Robert Cenname is Baltimore City's Budget Director; Matthew Gallagher is the president and CEO of the Goldseker Foundation. (courtesy photos)
Robert Cenname is Baltimore City's Budget Director; Matthew Gallagher is the president and CEO of the Goldseker Foundation. (courtesy photos)

Stay Connected
Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Rob is a contributing producer for Midday.