City Gives Preliminary Approval to Tax Credit for Urban Farms

The Baltimore City Council has given preliminary approval to local legislation that would provide a tax credit to urban farmers. As reported by the Baltimore Sun,

The bill, sponsored by City Councilman William “Pete” Welch, would provide a 90 percent property tax break for urban farmers who grow and sell at least $5,000 of fruit and vegetables a year. The credits, which must be approved by the city’s Office of Sustainability, are good for five years, but can be renewed for a total of 10 years, according to the bill.

The bill needs one more vote before it can become law. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake as said she supports the legislation.

Although urban farming has grown over the past several years, the bill’s sponsor and others believe the tax credit would provide an incentive to grow more fruits and vegetables on urban farms to drive down prices in the City. Since urban farms are smaller, they would not qualify for an existing tax credit offered by the State.