Property Tax Plan
It’s been said time and again- property taxes in Baltimore City need to be significantly reduced. Yet still, the City’s tax rates remain vastly higher than those in surrounding counties. As the next mayor of Baltimore, I have a responsible plan to make meaningful property tax reductions to the property taxes of for every Baltimore City resident and business owner.
Lower property taxes are critical to growing and retaining our City’s residential and business populations. As a City Councilman, I understand how our local government spends taxpayer dollars, without having been there so long that I accept the status quo. A strategic review of City Hall’s fiscal management shows many opportunities to be more efficient and (pull) less wasteful with tax dollars. My responsible plan to reduce property taxes will make City Hall more efficient, and bring City services for all residents into the 21st Century.
RESPONSIBLE PLAN FOR PROPERTY TAXES
Nick Mosby will reduce the property tax for ALL properties in Baltimore, 15.3% for owner occupied properties and 6.57% for non-owner occupied properties:
- 15.3% reduces the rate for owner occupied properties from $2.13 to $1.80
- 6.57% reduces the rate for non-owner occupied properties from $2.248 to $2.10
- The reduction will be phased in over the course of Nick Mosby’s first term, except for purchases of City owned vacant properties, where the reduction will be immediate.
Because Baltimore generated $785 million in property tax revenue in 2015, a 15.3% reduction for ALL property taxes is equal to $120 million in revenue. In order to guarantee enough money is available to reduce the owner occupied rate by 15.3% and the non-owner occupied rate by 6.57%, Nick Mosby has found $120 million in potential funding sources. He will use a combination of these sources to deliver his property tax reduction.
- 6.57% ($51.5 million) will come in the form of a pure cut
- 8.73% ($68.5 million) will come from creating a solid waste enterprise fund
Baltimore spends just over $68.5 million per year on solid waste disposal.
- Baltimore includes this cost in its property tax rate
- Most of Baltimore’s neighboring counties charge a separate fee for solid waste disposal. Thus, Baltimore’s property tax is falsely inflated by comparison.
A solid waste enterprise fund puts Baltimore on more even footing with its competitors by allowing for an 8.73% property tax reduction, and:
- Only charges those who use solid waste disposal services, creating a one to one service to fee ratio instead of blanket charging the entire City
- Generates the same revenue from taxable and tax exempt entities alike, creating new revenue streams from property tax exempt entities that make up a significant portion of the City’s assessable property base
- Allows for individuated fees based on the service provided, so that the City can incentivize recycling
- Creates a more stable, direct revenue stream for solid waste disposal, making it easier to plan cost saving capital improvements to the system.
Another 6.57% reduction is available through a combination of sequestered revenue increases and more efficient City services.
Baltimore will receive roughly $72.3 million more in property tax revenue in 2016 than it did in 2015 because of increased home values.
Nick Mosby will apply a percentage of the new revenue towards a property tax cut.
THE MUNICIPAL TELEPHONE EXCHANGE
Baltimore spends $10.3 million per year for its municipal telephone exchange, which is $16.56 per resident served. San Antonio’s annual telecommunication costs are $4.5 million, which is $3.21 per resident served.
Replicating San Antonio’s equipment and organization saves $8.3 million per year.
A NEW APPROACH TO VACANT PROPERTIES
Baltimore spends $16.7 million per year controlling vacant properties: $8.3 million acquiring properties and $8.4 million cleaning and boarding properties.
Baltimore’s receivership law provides the same results at a fraction of the cost by requiring negligent owners to address violations issued against their vacant property — saving the City costs like boarding or painting the home for the negligent owner — or to lose the vacant property to a new owner at auction — saving the City a purchase price for the vacant property.
A 15-person receivership task force could make progress faster than the City could buy or clean and board the same number of homes. The taskforce would cost:
- $1.125 million per year, for compensation costs of $75,000 per employee
- $3 million in annual funding to upkeep receivership properties that receive no bid. This new emphasis on receivership saves $12.575 million per year.
- Nick Mosby will also waive the minimum receivership bid of $5,000 to build in additional profit margin for buyers.
- Nick Mosby will continue requiring construction to begin within 1 year of purchase, and require completion within 3 years of purchase.
Baltimore spends $14.6 million per year on parking enforcement, which is $23.47 per resident served. Chicago spends $17 million per year on parking enforcement, which is $6.25 per resident served.
Replicating Chicago’s equipment, organization, and prioritization saves $10.71 million per year.
MORE EFFICIENT CALL CENTERS
Baltimore spends $26.33 million per year for its call centers: $20.4 million for its unified call center, where 311 and police dispatch are located, and $5.93 million on fire dispatch, which is $42.33 per resident served.
Chicago spends $51.72 million per years for its call centers: $4.615 million for its 311 center, and $47.1 million on all emergency dispatches, which is $19.02 per resident served.
Replicating Chicago’s equipment and organization saves $14.53 million per year.