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An Imminent UMD – City Showdown?

At a time when the city is increasingly concerned over the lost revenues due to reduced residential property taxes, new concerns have emerged on the possibility of another loss of taxes from a familiar source – the University of Maryland. What is more shocking; there have been talks of a possible showdown between our city and the UMD administration over this new loss of tax revenues.

As we discussed earlier in this post, the possible showdown is surrounding the $550,000 Admissions and Amusements (A&A) taxes that the UMD pays to the City towards the athletics game. The UMD is considering not to pay tax after a ruling favored the University of Baltimore’s athletics department over the City of Baltimore.

The City has reasons to be worried. It’s been facing a budget shortfall of $2M due to reduced property tax revenues from the residents. In addition the city is going to lose nearly a quarter million worth of taxes from its old Washington Post plant that the UMD has recently announced to buy. An additional loss of more than half a million will cause serious strain on the services it provides to its residents.

True the relationship between the City and the UM administrations hasn’t been so smooth for a while, however a court battle like this will only aggravate such relationship – it won’t improve any. The UMD administration should also appreciate the fact that the City pays over $800,000 per year for the services it provides to the UMD students – a big chunk of this money goes to cleanup trashes after many sports events that the UMD is considering not to pay A&A taxes on.

UMD can go to the court to settle such differences with the City, if it wants to – however there is a better way to fix such differences – recognize the contributions the city administration has been making and struggling to keep our city a sensible college town.

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