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By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | March 24, 2014
The city-owned Hilton Baltimore spent nearly all of the $2.8 million it generated in hotel occupancy taxes — money the city gave it last year to help the struggling convention center hotel make its debt payments, officials said. The hotel did return $72,000 of the tax money to city coffers. Baltimore City Finance Director Harry E. Black called it a turning point for the hotel, which at one point last year looked as if it might need even more help. The West Pratt Street hotel has lost more than $50 million since opening in 2008 as it struggled to make payments on the $301 million in tax-exempt municipal bonds issued to finance its construction.
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NEWS
April 16, 2014
It's tempting to dismiss Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler's proposals to reduce state spending on the basis of his spectacularly bad idea of eliminating the state prosecutor's office. Getting rid of the one semi-independent actor in Maryland's political establishment with the power to investigate public corruption is exactly the wrong thing to do. However, the rest of the Democratic gubernatorial candidate's plan includes a number of thoughtful observations about Maryland's $38 billion budget and some sensible approaches to making it more efficient.
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BUSINESS
By Ian Johnson and Ian Johnson,New York Bureau | August 31, 1993
In an Aug. 31 article about the purchase of Sweetheart Cup by American Industrial Partners, The Sun used information supplied by the company's underwriter that incorrectly priced the bonds used to make the purchase. The correct interest rates are 10.5 percent for $110 million in bonds and 9.625 percent for the remaining $190 million in bonds.The Sun regrets the errors.NEW YORK -- Although lightened of the crushing debt load that has plagued it for the past five years, Sweetheart Holdings Inc. will still be paying off high-interest junk bonds for another decade, according to Wall Street bond analysts familiar with the company and its newly completed financing.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | March 24, 2014
The city-owned Hilton Baltimore spent nearly all of the $2.8 million it generated in hotel occupancy taxes — money the city gave it last year to help the struggling convention center hotel make its debt payments, officials said. The hotel did return $72,000 of the tax money to city coffers. Baltimore City Finance Director Harry E. Black called it a turning point for the hotel, which at one point last year looked as if it might need even more help. The West Pratt Street hotel has lost more than $50 million since opening in 2008 as it struggled to make payments on the $301 million in tax-exempt municipal bonds issued to finance its construction.
NEWS
By Norris P. West and Norris P. West,Evening Sun Staff | November 30, 1990
The good times for Howard County government spending could be over.For years, the county has been the model of prosperity. Its fast-growing population had an increasingly larger government that delivered a panoply of services and programs about which officials often boasted.Now the prospects of its continuing are dimming in the wake of a projected $18 million revenue shortfall.County Executive-elect Charles Ecker promises to slash spending and cut services. He is considering layoffs and whether to audit the county's finances to see if the fiscal problems run even deeper.
NEWS
By DAN BERGER | September 28, 1992
Q. How can you get Blue Cross of Maryland to process a claim fast? A. Make it for executive entertainment expenses.United Germany is making it a crime to have spied for East Germany against West Germany but not the other way round.You may soon earmark 10 percent of your tax payment for deficit reduction. The other 90 percent is for debt service.
NEWS
By Sherry Joe and Sherry Joe,Staff Writer | October 1, 1992
Howard County residents will have a chance tonight to comment on a proposal to spend $250 million for public school construction, renovations and additions over the next 10 years.About 20 residents have so far signed up to speak during the hearing.The proposal was introduced last week by schools Superintendent Michael E. Hickey, who has proposed several ways to cut construction costs, including adopting year-round schedules and building cheaper schools.In a Sept. 23 letter to Mr. Hickey, County Councilman Darrel Drown proposed several ways to cut construction costs and reduce rising debt service costs.
SPORTS
By Ken Murray and Ken Murray,Evening Sun Staff | April 29, 1991
The outfield fences, adorned with advertisements in the style of long-ago ballparks, are rotting from the elements and 62 years of use. The lighting barely meets Triple A standards and is in serious need of new lamps and wiring. The small parking lot outside is a combination of dirt, gravel and angry potholes.This is Silver Stadium, home of the International League's Rochester Red Wings in upstate New York. While not crumbling, it certainly is showing its age.This dinosaur of a ballpark sits just off the freeway on the north side of town, not far from the center of a Rochester controversy.
NEWS
By Patrick Gilbert and Patrick Gilbert,Evening Sun Staff | August 30, 1991
The city has agreed to amend its contract with the Northeast Waste Disposal Authority so that the authority can refinance a 1982 bond issue that provided money to construct the Bresco incinerator in South Baltimore.By refinancing the bonds at a lower interest rate, the authority will cut its debt service and pass the savings along to the city by cutting the tipping fee the city pays for solid waste disposal at the incinerator. Northeast needed the city's approval to change language in the contract that set the terms of the bond sale.
NEWS
By James M. Coram and James M. Coram,Staff Writer | October 5, 1993
The Howard County Council served notice last night that it will not look kindly on spending bond money in fiscal 1995 for pay-as-you-go projects."Debt service is going to kill us," said Councilman Charles C. Feaga, R-5th. "My guess is that we're way out in front on debt service" per capita when compared with other Maryland counties, he said.Mr. Feaga was reacting to a report from Raymond S. Wacks, the county budget administrator, that indicated the county will have a $20 million increase in fixed expenses next fiscal year, including an $8.3 million increase in interest on county-issued bonds.
NEWS
Letter to The Aegis | March 13, 2014
Editor, The Aegis editorial March 5th about consolidating water and sewer systems throughout the County leaves one with some troubling thoughts and questions. The previous generation of County leadership based water and sewer payback on projected new growth - around 1,400 houses or hookups were said to be needed every year to meet the costs. That projection was reasonable back in the wild and woolly fast growth days, but no longer holds true. Last year the Harford County Spending Affordability Advisory Committee stated they were aware that the Water and Sewer Operating fund may indeed incur debt before "repayment by consumers is realized.
NEWS
November 18, 2013
Local government officials aren't the only ones who have to worry about meeting the stormwater pollution reduction targets set by the Environmental Protection Agency as part of its Chespaeake Bay pollution diet. The State Highway Administration also has a massive infrastructure of outmoded stormwater management systems that need upgrading, not to mention thousands of lane-miles of impervious surfaces that contribute to the flow of polluted water into the bay. Acheiving that is going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars during the next five years.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | May 20, 2013
Meeting behind closed doors, the city's Board of Finance on Monday approved more than $100 million in taxpayer assistance to help fund a massive, waterfront development project that will host energy giant Exelon Corp.'s regional headquarters. After barring the public from the 90-minute meeting, board members voted 4-0 to approve a developer's request for $107 million in tax increment financing to pay for roads, utilities and parks for the $1 billion Harbor Point mixed-use development on the waterfront between Harbor East and Fells Point, according to Stephen M. Kraus, the city's chief of treasury management.
NEWS
March 28, 2013
A Senate committee approved legislation Wednesday that would launch a $2.4 billion plan to rebuild aging Baltimore city schools, putting the measure on an apparent fast track toward final passage. The Budget & Taxation Committee cast a bipartisan 13-0 vote to approve the House-passed bill, which would provide the first $1.1 billion for the plan, with no substantive amendments. That means that if it passes without further changes on the Senate floor, the measure would likely avoid a conference committee and quickly land on  Gov. Martin O'Malley's desk.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | March 28, 2013
The board of the Baltimore Development Corp. is recommending the city approve a developer's request for $107 million in tax increment financing to pay for roads, utilities and parks for the $1 billion mixed-use Harbor Point development on the waterfront between Harbor East and Fells Point. The board of the BDC, the city's development agency, voted Thursday to send a recommendation to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for consideration. The financing, a way to fund construction of public infrastructure for new development, also requires City Council approval.
BUSINESS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | February 27, 2013
The city will be forced to dip into its general fund for $1 million to help the city-owned Hilton Baltimore make debt payments this year, city officials said Wednesday. Harry E. Black, Baltimore's director of finance, said the hotel needs the money to make payments in March and September. The Hilton is expected to contribute $2.8 million in taxes this year from the hotel occupancy tax to the general fund, so the hotel is drawing from money it created, he said. "I expect it's going to be an ongoing thing for a period of time," Black said.
NEWS
By James M. Coram and James M. Coram,Staff writer | March 27, 1991
County Executive Charles I. Ecker was advised to slash $20 million from the $121 million in capital budget requests received in January.The county cannot safely authorize more than $55 million in new general purpose bonds in the coming fiscal year -- $13 million less than this fiscal year and $20 million below the January request -- the county's bond affordability committee told Ecker this week.Each year the committee reviews how much more long-term debt the county can assume in the coming year.
NEWS
December 28, 2011
Counter-cyclical stimulus spending makes sense during business cycle recessions, which is not the kind of recession we're currently in. We're recovering from a single event - the 2008 collapse of America's debt-based economic model after a spending binge that was, admittedly, quite fun while it lasted. Once consumers get their debt loads down to manageable levels, they'll begin spending again, which is projected to happen in 2015 - unless, of course, 2015 comes and the governments owe so much money that taxes have to be significantly raised to pay back years and years of "stimulus.
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun | May 24, 2012
The operators of Baltimore's city-owned Hilton gathered Thursday to defend the hotel's financial reputation, saying it has enough cash to cover its costs and emphasizing that city taxpayers are not on the hook for expenses or losses. Last year, the hotel lost $11.5 million. Most of that loss, about $9.6 million, can be attributed to accounting requirements, which do not represent cash losses, said M.J. "Jay" Brodie, who heads the Baltimore Hotel Corp., which oversees the Hilton's finances.
NEWS
By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun | April 25, 2012
The Maryland State Board of Education said Wednesday that Anne Arundel County government underfunded schools by nearly $12 million for the current fiscal year, striking down the county's appeal of an earlier ruling that it failed to meet a state-mandated funding requirement. The requirement, referred to as maintenance of effort, says that counties must give school systems at least the same level of funding per pupil as in the previous year, adjusted for student growth. In November, Anne Arundel Superintendent Kevin Maxwell indicated to the state board that the county had appropriated $556.1 million for the schools, about $12 million short of the maintenance-of-effort target.
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