Baltimore taxpayers invited to speak out on proposed city budget

The city’s Board of Estimates will hold its annual Taxpayers’ Night on Wednesday beginning at 6 p.m. at the War Memorial Building near City Hall.

The event is a public forum on the proposed 2013 budget of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, which will also be the topic of several public hearings before the City Council this spring.

Facing a $48 million budget deficit, Rawlings-Blake last month proposed the $2.3 billion operating budget that calls for a reduction of the municipal workforce by eliminating 231 positions that are now vacant.

The budget proposes to lower the property tax rate by 2 cents per $100 of assessed value.

The proposed budget also has several cuts; the mayor also has proposed to close three fire houses in the city, some recreational centers and a reduce hours for some public libraries. City workers and retirees would pay more for health benefits and current employees would not receive a cost-of-living raise under the proposal that would take effect on July 1.

Taxpayers’ Night gives citizens a chance to voice concerns about the city’s budget proposal before the Board of Estimates. The board is headed City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young, and also includes Rawlings-Blake, City Comptroller Joan Pratt, Director of Public Works Alfred Foxx and City Solicitor George Nilson.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the War Memorial Building, located at 101 N. Gay St.

One thought on “Baltimore taxpayers invited to speak out on proposed city budget

  1. 10 year tax-phase in for ALL new city homebuyers (much like the current new construction tax phase-in). Commit to $.03-$.05 tax reduction per year for 20 years. Reduce or sunset the homestead tax credit after 10 years. This will encourage new buyers, expand the tax base, immediately address current budget issues with increased transfer taxes. This will invite the middle class back in and create healthier communities jobs and opportunity for all. This will also improve safety and schools. Best of all there is no downside, except for some polticians and community leaders who will not be able to retain power with an better informed and caring electorate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>