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Tag: UMD

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.

A New UMD Facility Closer to Home

Source: WashingtonPost.com

The news of the UMD’s decision to purchase The Washington Post’s old College Park Plant has stirred quite an interesting debate among the city residents and the UMD students.

The new 18.5 acres facility, located at 5245 Greenbelt Road (map below) will be the closest ‘official’ UMD operation near our district.  UMD plans to relocate services such as a bus depot it currently houses on the east side of campus, the site of a planned redevelopment project that includes housing for graduate students, retail space and a hotel.

UMD staff and many students are excited about the news of this purchase. They are hoping that the new facility may save the Wooded Hillock, which has been the center of controversy as the proposed site for the $900 million 38-acre East Campus development. 

“We no longer need the majority of the hillock,” said Ann G. Wylie, vice president for administrative affairs. “[The Post building] will easily, easily accommodate all of our service functions.”

The city officials seem not so happy. The purchase of the plant by UMD means to them the loss of important revenues the city used to get when the Washington Post plant was operational. The Post paid $259,000 in city property tax last year. The tax revenue was the second largest after $300K tax from the Camden apartments near IKEA.

Some are also worried about the rise of varsity traffic on the University Blvd / Greenbelt Rd. once the facility becomes operational.

5245 Greenbelt Rd

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