Fed up, Baltimore businesses threaten to withhold city tax revenue unless they get more police
A group of nearly 40 Baltimore businesses signed a letter threatening to withhold tax payments from the city until it improves police and other services.
“When it comes to prostitution, public urination and defecation, as well as the illegal sale and consumption of alcohol and illicit drugs on the streets, we know that these crimes are not as serious as carjackings. , shootings and homicides which have become common, âhe added. the letter reads. “But, as proved last weekend, a culture of lawlessness rarely remains confined to petty crimes and invariably leads to the types of violence and tragedy we witnessed late Saturday night.”
The group of 37 companies sent the letter to Mayor Brandon Scott, City Councilor Zeke Cohen, State Attorney Marilyn Mosby and Police Commissioner Michael Harrison after a violent weekend that led to the shooting of three men in the Fells Point neighborhood where the businesses are located.
“What is happening in our backyard – the chaos and lawlessness that escalated this weekend into another night of tragic and unspeakable gun violence – has been going on for far too long,” the letter said.
Baltimore was one of the cities that chose to partially cut its police budget in response to the “Defund the Police” movement that spread across the country following the death of George Floyd last year, with the city choose to eliminate $ 22 million of its police budget. But an upsurge in crime has pushed the city to quickly reverse the course, proposing a police budget in 2022 that would be increased by $ 28 million.
Companies are asking them to put funds that were supposed to go to the city in receivership until the city responds to their demands, including garbage pickup, traffic enforcement and ticket office parking. and towing, stopping illegal outdoor alcohol and drug sales, and empowering the city police department to responsibly enforce the law.
The letter argues that Fells Point is “one of Baltimore’s crown jewels,” warning that failure to meet business demands could lead to deterioration of the region.
âFrankly, it’s pathetic that we have to ask for these bases,â the letter said. “But that’s where we are.”
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Original author: Michael lee