City legislators, community leaders and Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke are preparing a comprehensive plan to revamp the state's tax structure to generate more revenue for education and health care.
They outlined their strategy yesterday after a 90-minute meeting at Calvary Baptist Church in West Baltimore that was sponsored by Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development.
"Our children are suffering right now . . . and they're suffering because there's just not enough money," said Del. Elijah E. Cummings, D-City, one of more than a dozen members of the city legislative delegation who attended the meeting.
"At a bleak and dark time, I see a ray of hope," said the Rev. Sidney Daniels of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance.
The group aims to create a package that can be presented within 30 days to legislative leaders and Gov. William Donald Schaefer, centering on appropriate budget cuts and changes in the current tax system.
Gary Rodwell, lead organizer for BUILD, said options include a more progressive state income tax and changes in the state's "piggyback" tax that would pump more money into the city.