Writer Laura Lippman shares a photo of the sunrise over Baltimore.

Maryland’s minimum wage debate focuses on automatic increases with inflation — The Baltimore Sun

Video shows fatal crash, building collapse after attempted traffic stop in east Baltimore — WBAL-TV

Student-written production collaborates Towson, Morgan State theatres — WJZ-TV

Baltimore artist Linling Lu’s paintings are like music to your eyes — The Washington Post

Scrubbing Baltimore’s Marble Steps Was My Very First Job — Baltimore magazine

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  1. What’s better for workers than a higher minimum wage? A tax on vacant land and unoccupied premises. A higher minimum wage discourages hiring. But a vacancy tax on residential property makes the owners get residential tenants (and set the rents within reach of wages), while a vacancy tax on commercial property makes the owners seek business tenants, who in turn will need workers, leading to higher *market* wages and more secure employment.

    What’s better for business than a lower minimum wage? A tax on vacant land and unoccupied premises! A lower minimum wage reduces the spending power of prospective customers, and makes it harder for prospective employees to afford housing within a manageable distance of your business. But a vacancy tax on nearby residential property keeps it populated with prospective customers and workers, and a vacancy tax on nearby commercial property keeps it populated with complementary businesses that will attract foot traffic to *your* business.

    Notice that a vacant-property tax is meant to be AVOIDED, not paid. Better still, avoidance of it would involve economic activity, expanding the bases of other taxes and allowing their rates to be reduced, so that both workers and businesses would pay LESS tax!

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