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Activists plan protest against $107M in city financing for Harbor Point development

Activists plan to protest the $107 million in city financing requested for the waterfront Harbor Point development.

The Fair Development Campaign will hold a demonstration in front of City Hall at 4 p.m. Wednesday to protest the tax increment financing plan

"Time and again, the city has awarded our resources to wealthy developers at the taxpayers’ expense in the hope that money will trickle down," states a news release from the group. "This model has failed. The Harbor Point TIF deal is more of the same."

The activists said they expect dozens of Baltimore residents to attend the event, including the homeless and unemployed workers. 

Immediately following the rally, the City Council's taxation committee will hear testimony about the request for more than $100 million in city-issued bonds to pay for the project's roads, pipes, public parks, promenade and other infrastructure. The 30-year bonds will accrue millions in interest over time.

Under the deal, the developer Michael S. Beatty is required to pay back both the bonds and interest through his projected tax revenue. If the tax revenue falls short, the project will be assessed a special tax, according to proposed legislation. 

The $1 billion Harbor Point development is the planned home of Exelon's new regional headquarters, a Morgan Stanley facility and other office buildings, residential towers, stores and a hotel.

Currently, the site is assessed at $10 million, but the Baltimore Development Corporation projects it would be valued at $1.8 billion for tax purposes when developer Michael S. Beatty completes it.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has said the Harbor Point project would create thousands of jobs. In addition to the tax increment financing, the development is benefiting from more than $100 million in tax breaks. 

Luke.Broadwater@baltsun.com

Twitter.com/lukebroadwater

 

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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