Baltimore Mayoral Candidates Offer Glimmer of Hope for Property Tax Relief

Apr 30, 2020

ROCKVILLE, MD (April 30, 2020) — The Maryland Public Policy Institute today commended two Baltimore mayoral candidates for offering a glimmer of hope that economic relief may be on the way through substantial property tax relief. The Greater Baltimore Committee recently published comments from mayoral candidates outlining their plans to overcome one of the City’s biggest economic development obstacles: a sky-high property tax rate that has discouraged economic investment and job growth in the city for decades.  


Mayoral Candidate Highlights:

Thiru Vignaraja and former Mayor Sheila Dixon offered the most specific plans to cut the rate. Here’s what they had to say:


Thiru Vignarajah

“I have pledged to cut Baltimore City's property taxes in half in ten years using a plan described by former WYPR President, Tony Brandon, as 'visionary and actionable.' We will reduce the current property tax by $0.11 per $100 of assessed value each year for ten years—until it equalizes with the county rate… A ten-year preset scheduled of property tax reductions will prime the market for investment, impose a level of fiscal discipline that Baltimore City has sorely lacked, and will encourage families and businesses to stick around knowing that city leaders are committed to making sense of what is currently an irrational and unsustainable tax rate."


Sheila Dixon:

Now dependent on how existing tax credits are treated once entering office, I would lobby the Governor and the Maryland General Assembly to offer up a Property Tax Assistance Initiative that would call on the state to lend the city enough money to lower our rate for homeowners closer to the $1.10 rate of Baltimore County, or roughly half of the current rate homeowners are paying for one adjustment period, giving us the necessary revenue to make up for this significant tax break but putting us more in line with surrounding counties, and thereby making us more attractive as a city overall to citizens looking to move into the city, as well as Fortune 500 companies that currently don’t exist in Baltimore.”


To read responses from all candidates, visit the Greater Baltimore Committee’s website.


The Institute has called for a competitive property tax rate in the city since 2010, noting that this is a necessary condition for its economic revival and arguing thatBaltimore is a superstar city waiting to happen; investors and residents will be eager to return once it makes economic sense to do so.”


Read more about the Institute’s recommendations for city property tax relief and other policy innovations at


About the Maryland Public Policy Institute: Founded in 2001, the Maryland Public Policy Institute is a nonpartisan public policy research and education organization that focuses on state policy issues. The Institute’s mission is to formulate and promote public policies at all levels of government based on principles of free enterprise, limited government, and civil society.  Learn more at