The property tax system is the root of problems in Baltimore

Originally published in the Baltimore Sun

Two adjoining articles in the Sunday Baltimore Sun highlight key reasons why Baltimore is shrinking and affordable housing is becoming a problem for many Marylanders.

The first (“Hopkins students, community members march to highlight disparities in North Baltimore neighborhoods,” July 11) shows that many of those concerned about disinvestment and spreading poverty in the city continue to misdiagnose the root cause of these problems: the city’s punishing property tax rate, more than double that available a few miles away in the county. While the demonstrators are to be commended for their efforts to end racism, blaming all disparities in economic outcomes in the city on this “usual suspect” leaves the real perpetrator free to continue to harm city residents. The Maryland Public Policy Institute has written frequently about this issue in The Sun and offered a solution (“Think bigger than Port Covington,” August 2016). We hope the young idealists will someday join us in this reform effort.


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