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Building middle-class Baltimore
In passing Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's budget Monday night, City Council members said they hoped the whole thing would be more or less a wash for Baltimore residents. Property taxes are going down, but new fees are coming to pay for stormwater pollution mitigation, and new taxes will hit billboard advertising and taxi rides. No doubt some residents will pay more, and some will pay less, and in a city where poverty and joblessness are persistent problems, such changes are inevitably fraught. Likewise, the mayor's proposal to increase salaries for civilian city employees while also forcing them to contribute to their pension for the first time appears not to be a sure thing in the council amid worries that it asks too much of workers who occupy some of the lower rungs of the municipal pay scale.
June 18, 2013