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Tag: city

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.

City Developments in North College Park

The City of College Park’s Planning Director Terry Schum took her time to come to last Thursday’s NCPCA meeting and made a presentation on the status of the existing developments in the north College Park. I’ve plotted these developments in the map below. Please click on the markers on the map to find more about each development.

$2M Budget Cut – Where the Axe will Fall?

The much discussed nearly 2 million dollar cut from the city’s FY2011 budget has started speculations – where exactly this cut will happen?

Considering the total amount of the current budget of $13 million, the amount of this cut is huge – a whopping 15%. The cut is going to happen due to expected loss of revenues – mainly from a reduced property tax from residents in the upcoming year.

Here is what Councilwoman Stephanie Stullich (Dist. 3) thinks:

With less revenue, the council’s primary goal will be to limit expenses while continuing to provide essential services like trash pickup, street maintenance and police service, It’s going to be a challenging budget, no question about it,” Stullich said. “I’m not quite sure how we’re going to do it. We have to hope that staff can be very creative.

What this cut also means that the residents will most likely be discouraged from making their wishlists in the upcoming budget. Here is what the city manager and the finance director say:

Nagro and Groh asked council members to limit requests for “wish list” projects in their districts, initiatives that range and the city could dip into its “rainy day” undesignated revenue.

The NCPCA members typically make such wish lists before the budget is presented for approval.

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