The city has signed a $60 million agreement with 14 nonprofit hospitals, colleges and universities to help pay for public safety and other essential city services over the next decade, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Tuesday.
Baltimore's spending panel is expected to approve the memorandum of understanding at Wednesday's meeting. The agreement calls for the institutions to pay an average of $2.6 million more a year than the current agreement, which expires June 30.
Under the existing agreement, the entities paid a combined $20.4 million since 2010. The institutions are tax exempt.
Rawlings-Blake called it a "landmark agreement" that "balances the needs of both the City and the nonprofit institutions." The deal was negotiated over the past year.
"This multi-million dollar agreement demonstrates the commitment these institutions have to Baltimore and underscore the importance they play in economic development and job growth," Rawlings-Blake said.
City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young said he will vote to approve the agreement when it comes before the Board of Estimates. He is one of five members on the panel. Rawlings-Blake controls a majority of the board votes.
Young, who helped negotiate the deal, said it will help strengthen city finances and ensure the continued delivery of essential services.
The new deal locks in the annual payment of $6 million a year through 2026. The payments under the existing agreement decreased over time.
Hospitals included in the agreement are Bon Secours, Johns Hopkins Hospital & Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan, MedStar Union Memorial, Mercy Medical Center, Sinai LifeBridge, St. Agnes Healthcare, University of Maryland Medical Center and University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus.
Participating colleges and universities are Johns Hopkins University, Loyola University Maryland, Maryland Institute College of Art and Notre Dame of Maryland University.
Carmela Coyle, president of the Maryland Hospital Association, said the agreement provides budget predictability for hospitals, which face financial challenges similar to the city's.
She said the agreement allows hospitals to "provide much-needed health care and retain the thousands of health care and other jobs Baltimore depends on, and retains the critical tax-exempt status that allows hospitals to do all of this."
Tina Bjarekull, president of the Maryland Independent College and University Association, said the participating institutions are deeply rooted in the city, some for more than 150 years.
"During this time, they have contributed to the City's economic vitality and quality of life for Baltimore's residents," she said. "They are committed to working with the Mayor and City Council in continuing that partnership."
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