Assessment increase makes downtown Baltimore even less attractive

April 20, 2010

Downtown tenants have no say regarding a surcharge for services imposed on their landlords and passed through to them under their leases ("Offices in city face rise in fees," April 20). But they can vote with their feet and move from downtown or the city altogether.

Over the years the city has become less and less attractive as a place to locate or maintain a business due to parking costs, traffic congestion, crime and panhandlers. Numerous businesses have left for the suburbs. A surcharge may be necessary to provide some of the services the city should but cannot provide, but its not a good idea to pass it through to tenants already skeptical of the benefits of being downtown.

Raising taxes to spend money the Downtown Partnership does not have smacks of government and is a bad idea.

Jim Astrachan, Baltimore

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