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NEWS
April 11, 2013
A funeral Mass for Matthew S. Hersl, a supervisor in the city of Baltimore's finance department and Little Italy neighborhood volunteer, will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Leo the Great Church, South Exeter and Stiles streets in Little Italy. Mr. Hersl, who had worked for the city for 28 years and was also an avid Orioles fan, died April 9 after he was struck by a car while walking in front of City Hall.  
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NEWS
By Luke Broadwater and The Baltimore Sun | July 30, 2014
Baltimore finance director Harry Black is resigning to become the city manager of Cincinnati - the latest of at least six high-level departures from City Hall in a year. A Park Heights native, Black had been the city's finance director for about 21/2 years. He will be replaced by Finance Department deputy Henry Raymond, according to the mayor's office. Black's last day in Baltimore will be Aug. 20. His new job is pending approval of the Cincinnati City Council. “I would like to thank Mr. Black for his dedicated service to my administration and the City of Baltimore,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement.
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NEWS
By Donna E. Boller and Donna E. Boller,Sun Staff Writer | April 11, 1994
Westminster City Council members had planned to relieve overcrowding in City Hall by moving the finance department into the former National Guard Armory on Longwell Avenue.Then they found out how much it would cost.Architect Martha Jones' preliminary cost estimate came in two weeks ago at $1.2 million, more than three times the $350,000 budgeted for the project.A major reason for the additional cost was that the finance department's space needs could be met only by putting it on the first and second floors, said Thomas B. Beyard, city planning director.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | November 5, 2013
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake attempted to quiet growing calls from the City Council for an independent audit of the city's troubled property tax program, saying Tuesday that her administration's reforms should be given more time to yield results. "We're not against audits," she said at a news conference. "We just want to make sure they're done in a timely way and are not wasteful of the taxpayers' money. " The mayor's comments came a day before a council hearing on a resolution seeking an "immediate and thorough" audit of the Finance Department.
NEWS
January 31, 1991
Baltimore has reached a point where the existing revenue base cannot support the current level of services. This is the conclusion of the city's Finance Department, which has issued a challenge to the Schmoke administration to improve the city's long-term financial health.The department's strategic plan includes a recommendation that the city create a 15 percent set-aside from its revenue growth for two purposes. One is to provide property tax relief either through an assessment cap or tax rate reduction.
NEWS
May 21, 1998
FLUSH WITH cash, some city politicians seem to have XTC forgotten that bad times inevitably follow good.Instead of planning for future adversities, they are pandering to various pressure groups. Spend, spend, spend is the credo of the day.This, of course, is awfully shortsighted. And it flies in the face of a strategy the city's finance department proposed to Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke in early 1991.The cornerstone of the finance department's plan was a recommendation that the city create a 15 percent set-aside from its revenue growth.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey and Annie Linskey,annie.linskey@baltsun.com | December 22, 2008
Members of Baltimore's Board of Fire Commissioners will receive their final paychecks at the end of this month, after a recent discovery by the city's Finance Department that the members have not been eligible for a city stipend since 1996. A provision authorizing pay for the commissioners was removed from the city's charter when it was revised under Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke's administration more than a decade ago. But, apparently, neither the commissioners nor the city department that writes the checks realized it. The board members have continued to receive nominal pay from the city - roughly $3,600 a year for each member and $4,200 for the president.
NEWS
By Nicole Fuller, The Baltimore Sun | October 12, 2010
Stricter security measures have been implemented at Annapolis City Hall following a review of procedures after a theft earlier this year from the city's Finance Department, city officials said Tuesday. The first phase of stepped-up security, which will include requiring City Hall visitors to sign in during business hours, began last week. A security guard has been posted at the front entrance of City Hall and all other access to the building has been closed. Employees are also now required to wear city-issued identification badges.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey and Annie Linskey,annie.linskey@baltsun.com | April 28, 2009
A property tax credit meant to lure new residents to Baltimore and spur development in impoverished neighborhoods instead rewards current city dwellers who inhabit booming parts of the city, according to a report issued by the city's Finance Department. In the past nine months, 75 percent of the applications for the program, called the Newly Constructed Dwelling Tax Credit, came from 10 neighborhoods, according to the finance data. Forty percent of the credits went to households earning more than $100,000 a year.
NEWS
By Gerard Shields and Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF | June 19, 1999
Circuit Court Clerk Frank M. Conaway is asking the Baltimore finance department to more quickly process land records, including the transfer of tax checks that go uncashed for long periods, he said.Conaway, a Democrat running for City Council president, said backlogs in the city's land records office have caused weeks of delays in the recording of deeds."It takes the city weeks to do simple clerical tasks that are done in a matter of days in most counties," said Conaway, who was elected in September.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | October 8, 2013
Chronic mistakes in Baltimore's tax bills commanded attention at City Hall Monday as the mayor said her administration is fixing the problems and the comptroller ordered an audit nonetheless. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said the city is implementing an automated system to reduce mistakes - which officials acknowledged have cost the city $11 million in the past decade - and she asked citizens to give finance officials "a chance to work. " But a City Council chairman called for an audit, and Comptroller Joan M. Pratt said her office has asked for the documents needed to perform one. "I want to make sure the citizens are being billed properly," Pratt said.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | July 14, 2013
More than a year ago, Maryland's assessments agency acknowledged making chronic miscalculations on certain tax breaks for big commercial properties in Baltimore - errors that cost the city more than $1.5 million in potential taxes. On July 6, 2012, a state official emailed the city information necessary to revise tax bills for several properties, which the state concluded had received unduly steep discounts following historic rehabilitations. A year later, the city Finance Department says it has not issued any revised bills to correct the errors.
NEWS
July 5, 2013
In a year when the city is claiming that property tax rates have been reduced, the reduction that many property owners are enjoying is in historic tax credits based on expensive capital property improvements. This weekend, approximately 1,500 cards from the city Department of Finance arrived with first-class postage across the city notifying recipients of "some changes in the Historic Tax Credit (CHAP Credit) given by Baltimore City for qualifying properties. " The upshot of the "changes" is that the "credit has been reduced from the prior year due to an incorrect calculation.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | June 7, 2013
  A Visa credit card issued to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's office has accumulated more than $760 in finance charge since late 2011, thanks to monthly balances that have exceeded $13,000. Four monthly statements over that span list the account as “delinquent.” Ryan O'Doherty, a spokesman for Rawlings-Blake, said Friday that part of the problem may be an administrative delay after payments are sent to the Finance Department. City Hall staff members are looking into the situation, he said.
NEWS
April 11, 2013
A funeral Mass for Matthew S. Hersl, a supervisor in the city of Baltimore's finance department and Little Italy neighborhood volunteer, will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Leo the Great Church, South Exeter and Stiles streets in Little Italy. Mr. Hersl, who had worked for the city for 28 years and was also an avid Orioles fan, died April 9 after he was struck by a car while walking in front of City Hall.  
SPORTS
February 23, 2013
Can't wait for the email from The Sun's finance department asking me why I went to the grocery store every day for three weeks. No big mystery there. I've turned over a new leaf - literally - and open each day here at spring training by picking up a bag of fresh lettuce for my lunch. Never have been one for rabbit food, but I'm studying for my upcoming physical and need to drop a few pounds before I get back to Baltimore in early March. So far, so good. I'm not the only one who is trying to get healthier this spring.
NEWS
By Tom Pelton and Tom Pelton,SUN STAFF | August 8, 2002
Baltimore officials are investigating claims that a former city worker cheated scores of drivers by pocketing cash in bogus deals that were supposed to give discounts on parking fines. The parking fine collector -- whose name was not released -- issued paperwork to drivers who owed large parking fines so that they could renew their license plates with the state Motor Vehicle Administration, which is normally impossible without paying all fines, according to city officials. But the residents later complained they had been ripped off -- often by hundreds or thousands of dollars each -- when the city notified them that their fines still existed and had grown by $16 per month in penalties.
NEWS
By James M. Coram and James M. Coram,Staff Writer | November 8, 1993
For the second time in about a year, the Howard County auditor has criticized the police department for sloppy record keeping -- this time for losing track of more than 2,000 parking tickets.The earlier audit, conducted in October 1992, uncovered an $8,000 theft in the property section. Unlike the previous audit, no theft of county money has been uncovered.The missing tickets appear to be the result of careless handling and flawed procedures.Nonetheless, "when a book or ticket is unaccounted for, the possibility of misappropriation of county funds increases," said assistant auditor Brenda Dean.
NEWS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | March 21, 2012
The number of city workers charged with rooting out property tax fraud and errors would triple — from one employee to three — under Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's budget proposal for next fiscal year. The "billing integrity" program, launched last spring, has focused on finding homestead property tax credits that go to owners who don't live in the homes receiving the break, which violates the rules. The Finance Department wants extra staff to audit all tax credits and investigate the accuracy of property assessments.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | October 30, 2011
Howard County Council Chairman Calvin Ball has proposed a bill that would allow the police department to tow a vehicle after only one citation, a move designed to help the county collect $376,000 in outstanding fines. The measure would "empower the finance and police department to enforce the law," said Ball, who introduced the measure Oct. 3. Under the plan, the finance department, which oversees the collection of parking fines, would designate vehicles with outstanding violations and alert the police department that they were eligible for impoundment.
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