Baltimore tax plan: What lovely new deck chairs for the Titanic

May 10, 2012

Your editorial, "Baltimore's Tax Diet," (May 7) is, in your own words, an exercise in "wishful thinking." The notion that Baltimore's ills will be cured "tiny tax break by tiny tax break" is almost not worthy of adult conversation. The plan only works "…if the city sticks to the plan" and the "sticking" must continue for decades.

The problem is fairly simple: Baltimore's tax rate is $2.27 per $100 of assessed value while the surrounding counties are approximately $1.00 per $100. Baltimore schools are not desirable, and the city has a reputation for an unfriendly bureaucracy and high crime rates. You will not get people to move into or stay in the city by giving them a minuscule tax reduction.

The current policy is the equivalent of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. No amount of wishful thinking will make the iceberg disappear. Someone needs to take bold and imaginative actions to make Baltimore all that it could be.

Joseph A. Schwartz III, Annapolis

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