Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.
NewsOpinionReaders Respond

Minor privilege tax also affects residential property owners [Letter]

Laws and Legislation

I could not agree more with your editorial regarding the minor privilege tax ("Minor privilege, major disincentive," Aug. 13).

While the article was business focused, this absurd tax also hits the residential property owners in the city.

A couple of months after purchasing a home in Baltimore City in 2012, I received a bill for a minor privilege tax. Being new to the city, I had no idea what this tax was. After a couple of phone calls I found out that I will be charged a $193.25 yearly fee for having a second floor bay window on my house and for a 5-inch piece of conduit that runs under the sidewalk in front of my house.

There is nothing on my house that blocks the passage way of the sidewalk at all. The bay window sticks out no further than my neighbor's steps and the window is on the second level of my home. The conduit is buried underneath the concrete!

I contacted City Councilman Jim Kraft's office and was told about the amendment that would be required to fight this tax. I cannot tell you how frustrating it was to read that the mayor vetoed this amendment before it could even get to a vote.

I wonder how much of the $2.7 million raised by this tax is being paid by already over-taxed city homeowners?

Mark Bittenbender, Baltimore

To respond to this letter, send an email to Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
Laws and Legislation
  • Baltimore's brighter budget [Editorial]
    Baltimore's brighter budget [Editorial]

    Our view: Tough decisions made during the last few years put the city in a position to cut taxes and maintain government services

  • New ideas for cutting city taxes [Editorial]
    New ideas for cutting city taxes [Editorial]

    Our view: Delegate McIntosh's proposals could build on Mayor Rawlings-Blake's reforms to make Baltimore more competitive with the suburbs

  • If plastic bags are the problem, ban them [Letter]

    Call it what you like, the proposal to charge 10-cents for plastic bags is a tax on the people of Baltimore ("Shoppers in city may see 10-cent bag fee," Jan 21). As for Councilman Brandon Scott's comment, "This is a good step for us to be a sustainable city moving...

  • All can afford a 10-cent bag [Letter]

    With reference to the "bag tax" in Baltimore, how can 10 cents hurt anyone? To say that we are overtaxed is pretty ridiculous ("Shoppers in city may see 10-cent bag fee Jan. 21). If a 10-cent tax is going to hurt someone, then certainly they are not paying any taxes already, so...

  • Bag tax will work for all [Letter]

    I encourage the members of the Baltimore City Council to pass the bag tax measure ("Bag tax economics," Jan. 23). When this measure was proposed several years ago, we heard the same argument that it penalized the economically disadvantaged. This argument reminds me of the complaints...

  • Bag tax is all mixed up [Letter]

    Let's see: The Baltimore City Council is debating whether to levy a tax on paper and plastic bags, and the Maryland legislature is considering decriminalizing marijuana.