Mayor won't even try to lower property taxes

February 09, 2011

It is most unfortunate that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has chosen to characterize those who might disagree with her positions on city funding priorities and her justification for maintaining an excessively high property tax rate as being less than truthful or somehow misleading the citizens of Baltimore ("Rawlings-Blake calls for 'tough choices,' new projects," Feb. 7). The truth is the mayor sets the spending priorities, and if lowering property taxes is not one of the mayor's priorities, it will not happen. It is misleading and completely self-serving for the mayor to assert that those who would place a priority on lowering property taxes are somehow making "false promises." Henry Ford had a favorite saying, "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are right!"

Mayor Rawlings-Blake obviously has already decided that lowering property taxes in the city to promote growth and investment is not possible. I am not willing to make that concession, and hopefully a majority of taxpaying Baltimoreans also are not willing to accept the mayor's defeatism. We can honestly disagree on the merits of a course of action, but to attempt to label the opposing view as being dishonest is a disservice to the citizens of Baltimore, who can only benefit from having an open and thoughtful debate on this issue and others facing the city.

Joseph T. "Jody" Landers III, Baltimore

The writer, a former city councilman, is vice president of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors. He is considering a campaign for mayor.

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