Baltimore City’s Proposed Budget Focuses on Structural Deficit, Competitive Property Tax Rates

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Baltimore City’s proposed FY 2015 budget of $2.491 billion is a 3.5 percent increase from the current spending plan.  In the proposed budget, the Baltimore City administration would like to spend $897 million on capital improvements, 72 percent of that going towards water and sewer upgrades.

From the Baltimore Sun blog article,

Overall, the budget aims to knock millions off the long-term structural deficit — once projected to be $750 million over 10 years — and make the city’s property taxes more competitive by continuing to reduce the rate homeowners pay.

Discussing the property tax break, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said,

“The budget … means savings to the average homeowner on their tax bill, and we’re not done,” Rawlings-Blake said in an interview.

The budget would give city workers a 2 percent raise and for the first time since 2008, would not cut any city services.  A Baltimore Sun article also noted,

The plan includes the latest installment in the mayor’s 10-year plan to reduce property taxes by 22 percent. Officials said the city’s stabilizing financial picture also allows $26 million in new capital investments, including $5 million in technology to allow police officers to file reports from crime scenes and their supervisors to better manage overtime costs.

The proposed property tax cut would effectively drop the rate for an owner-occupied home to $2.13 per $100 of assessed value, a 1.2 percent reduction. A homeowner with a property worth $150,000 and no tax credits would pay $3,195, down $38 from this year.

To view the Baltimore City FY2015 Preliminary Budget Plan, click here.