According to the Maryland Department of Planning, Baltimore City lost 45,882jobs from 2000 to 2005. The number of retail establishments fell by 257 and retail sales dropped 11 percent during that time frame.
The data makes it no coincidence that 64,168 people moved out of the city to surrounding jurisdictions from 2000-2006. Fewer people means fewer property tax dollars to hire police, teachers, offer vital city services and pay the massive pension and health care bills for city employees.
Dixon has promised to throw “every ounce” of herself into the job, but energy is no substitute for realistic priorities, fundamental integrity and ability to rise above machine politics to serve all citizens.
Her transition team as interim mayor recommended 245 items needing immediate attention. There was no way she could have addressed them in less than a year as interim mayor and no way she will fix them in four years.
But by focusing on opening the city for business she may accomplish many of the items on the list. First on her agenda must be halving property taxes to the same levels as surrounding jurisdictions. It is the key to luring young, well-educated professionals and the employers that want to hire them.
We do not need any more evidence of how high taxes “help” the city.
Knowing that Dixon is a major cog in the machine, I won't hold my breath.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
The Examiner Gets It
From Thursday's Baltimore Examiner editorial:
Posted by Mark Newgent at 10:04 AM