Replace the Homestead Property Tax Credit with a state-wide flat tax

December 21, 2011

Your article "Distorted discount" (Dec. 18) suggests getting rid of the homestead property tax credit. Eliminating the property tax credit could reduce Baltimore City's property tax rate by 13 percent and provide the uniform taxation of all property owners required by the state constitution. But it would do so only at the risk of driving many long-time city residents from their homes.

Far better would be a "One State, One Rate" property tax policy such as the one I have proposed. Property taxes for the whole state would go into a single, statewide fund to be distributed to the city and counties based on their percentage of Maryland's population.

Setting the statewide rate at .8686 cents per $100 of assessed value would raise the same total amount of revenue that is currently being raised, and it would reduce Baltimore City's property tax rate of $2.268 per $100 of assessed value by nearly 62 percent.

Just like eliminating the homestead tax credit, the city would need state action to establish the One State, One Rate property tax reform. Fortunately, it would also benefit nearly 55 percent of all Marylanders, as well as the citizens of Baltimore County.

Bill Marker, Baltimore

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