Who would want to be the mayor of Baltimore right now? We’ve got 16,000 vacant properties and an ever-shrinking tax base, and we’re looking at “financial ruin” within  10 years if we don’t start closing our budget gaps.

That sounds simple enough — raise taxes or cut spending or do both. But our tax rates already tower above those of surrounding areas, so there isn’t much farther to go. And what kind of programs can we cut that won’t make the city a less desirable place to live and aggravate our shrinking population problem?

In her State of the City address, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake revealed a plan that includes a little of this, a little of that. She proposes cutting the property tax rate by 20 percent over the next 10 years. She also favors charging a fee for trash removal and tinkering with the benefits of city employees.

Now, maybe a marginal tax cut here and a new mandatory fee there is just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. But, you know, if the ship’s sinking you might as well keep yourself busy doing something.

One reply on “SRB Proposes Lowering Property Taxes, Charging for Trash Removal”

  1. That is exactly what I said when I heard this proposal this morning. Call it a fee but it is still a tax. I am certain if they opened their books to a few private citizens we could find plenty of places to cut spending. I would start with the Mayor’s driver only working during business hours – he doesn’t need to be driving her to the grocery store at 7:30 pm, waiting outside (in the fire lane I might add) for her and her daughter to shop , then driving them across the parking lot to Dunkin’ Donuts (waiting in the driving lane). Unless that is on her own dime she needs to be driving herself to the grocery store! I don’t care how little that is in the grand scheme of things. My husband was having a major heart attack a few months ago and I called 911. It took them 25 minutes to get to my house. There is a fire station 2 blocks away. They told me due to budget cuts there are not enough paramedics to service the city adequately – but the Mayor has her driver after hours…..

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