11:15 AM EDT, June 13, 2012
An interesting exchange is taking place.
Under Armour, as part of their agreement with the NBA, renovated The Dome at Madison Square Recreation Center basketball courts for use by inner city kids and brought Muggsy Bogues in for the dedication ("Bogues back where he came from," June 12). MayorStephanie Rawlings-Blake declared the courts "beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful."
Meanwhile, the city is arranging $35 million in tax increment financing for the expansion of the Under Armour campus at Tide Point, part of which will be used to create a park with state of the art playing fields for the use of Under Armor employees. The fields may or may not be accessible to the public and may or may not end up being owned by Under Armour.
I'm all for more recreational facilities, and there may be much good to be said for both of these efforts. But somehow I get the eerie feeling that as "one hand washes the other," it's the taxpayers of Baltimore who are getting cleaned out. Perhaps, if there were more transparency in city government and more openness about who benefits from tax incentives, we could celebrate Under Armour's corporate successes with a whole heart.
Mac Nachlas, Baltimore
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