Baltimore traditionally has scored well in surveys that measure quality of life. But the city's reputation is slipping fast. Ranked fifth among Fortune magazine's top 10 cities for doing business in 1989, Baltimore ranked near the bottom in the newest survey, scheduled to appear in the business journal next month.
The reasons will come as no surprise to any city resident or official: problems in the city's school system, a high tax rate, expensive office leasing costs, lack of access to quality labor and what the journal calls the lack of a "pro-business attitude" -- a disturbing reversal of the city's image.
While not every businessperson will be influenced by Fortune's ratings, Baltimore's low rating this year will be at the very least a blow to city efforts to recruit new business. The problem remains, of course, what to do. No one disputes the areas of city life that need attention; Baltimore simply does not have the fiscal resources to bolster schools and services and to counterbalance a significant tax cut or, by itself, to ensure a quality work force.