Reporting Pat Warren
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City moves to spend more than $100 million to subsidize the Harbor Point development.
Pat Warren reports protesters failed to prevent the taxation committee from approving the deal.
Protesters try to stop city government from using $107 million in public money to subsidize Harbor Point development.
“We’re sick and tired of empty promises that this council continues to support on the backs of the citizens of Baltimore,” a project opponent said.
The Council Taxation Committee heard pros and cons on the proposal, but Chairman Carl Stokes later called the process politically greased.
“This committee has been pushed, cajoled, browbeat,” Stokes said.
The mayor and council president are promoting the development of Harbor Point–a mixed use community on what used to stand a chrome processing plant between Fells Point and Harbor East.
“And generate on average nearly $20 million in new city tax revenue annually,” Mayor Rawlings-Blake said.
According to the mayor, the projected tax revenue increase from the current $244,000 is $19.6 million per year. Increased property and other related taxes would net $589 million over 30 years.
The proposal does meet some strong opposition.
“Once you turn on the subsidy tap, it is very difficult to turn it off,” said Rev. Foster Conners.
“It’s challenging to build in Baltimore. You don’t see cranes all over the place,” said developer Michael Beatty.
Developer Michael Beatty is promising to include $3 million in low income housing.
“We voluntarily agreed with housing to fund this because we think it’s the right thing to do. And it’s the max we’re able to do,” Beatty said.
The proposal passed 3-0. Councilman Stokes walked out on the vote.
The full council could vote on Monday.