Downtown Frederick Maryland: No More Lights Out?
has been around 30 years, covering that beautiful old city in Maryland and the surrounding countryside. Visitors and residents alike enjoy the travel tips, restaurant coverage, and its beautiful visual explorations to visit, live, and work.
The magazine also covers the not so pleasant realities that any city of any size must deal with. People may be surprised that such a lovely city near the center of national wealth in Washington DC also suffers from commercial and residential blight.
The implosion of revenues for local and state governments over the past seven years, and a stalled, weak recovery leaves public discussion on funding the public/civic sector in the tired old debate between tax-and-spend and cut and slash. In weak regional economies and in times of recession, the first tax revenue to slide are income taxes, then sales taxes, then business taxes, and lastly property taxes. Property taxes are built upon a far more stable base than other forms of tax, and they are now understood to be generally progressive in impact.
Steve Hanke and Stephen Walters have been writing on taxation and economic policy for years, with close analyses of what makes urban areas hit or miss. Theirlatest piece
in the Wall Street Journal emphasizes why some cities are more stable than others: reasonable taxes. Some might disagree that low property taxes are the driver of growth, although that helps. Taxation on mobile forms of wealth, like incomes, commerce and sales hurt more.
Happily, respected Case Western economics professor
Baltimore's property tax in need of a restructuring, not a
Fells Point: Back from the Brink
The sad reality of any tax program meant to help working and
middle-class homeowners is how quickly the original intent can be lost, and the
reform program can actually lead to further iniquities.
That is the case in the city of Baltimore Maryland wherethe Homestead Property
acts as a tax cap that prevents increases in a property's value
from adding to the tax bill the homeowner actually pays.