Mayor's proposal for property-tax rate: 9% cut by 2020
The newest property-tax proposal in Baltimore's interesting mayoral race is the mayor's. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is set to announce that she will seek a 9 percent cut in the city's property-tax rate for homeowners, phased in through 2020, the Sun's Julie Scharper reports.
That's much smaller than the 30 to 50 percent cuts supported by challengers, a reduction the mayor and her finance department have called unrealistic. Another difference: The reduction would apply only to owner-occupied homes, not rental properties, vacant homes or commercial buildings.
The city's 2.268 percent rate is more than twice as much as the rest of the state. Rawlings-Blake says dropping that to 2.068 percent by 2020 is doable, and she proposes to plug half the revenue hole with almost all the money the city expects to get from slots. (The slots project has been held up for a while now, with lawsuits from the developer the city cut loose. New bids to build a Baltimore casino could come in next week, the state says.)
Savings to an owner-occupier if the tax-cut plan goes forward: about $400 a year on a $200,000 property, once the reduction is fully phased in. If you qualify for the homestead tax credit, you'd automatically get the rate reduction. (Remember that "qualify" isn't the same as actually receiving a credit amount, so presumably owner-occupiers with $0 credits wouldn't have a problem getting the new rate.)