With the U.S. Census Bureau reporting yet another year of population loss for the city, it doesn’t take an investigator to determine the causes.
The city’s scary record of 343 homicides in 2017 affirms the city’s well-known reputation as a dangerous place to live. Even if 2018 has fewer homicides, it doesn’t take a fortune teller to predict that this year’s homicide rate will be high. Until the city substantially reduces its homicide and other crimes rates, people will continue to view the city as dangerous and be reluctant to stay or move here.
The city’s outrageous property tax of $2.248 per $100 of a property’s assessed value is more than double of its surrounding jurisdictions: Baltimore County, $1.10, and Anne Arundel 90.7 cents. The city’s burdensome property tax on homeowners explains why the city has more renters than homeowners. The city’s high income tax is 3.2 percent, the maximum allowed by law. Baltimore County’s is 2.83 and Anna Arundel’s is 2.56. The city’s tax message is clear: Move here and pay higher taxes. People have figured out how to avoid the city’s taxes and still enjoy the city. They live in surrounding counties and take reasonably priced ridesharing services into the city.
The city’s public school system is a disaster. Last year, some of the schools had zero students who were proficient in math. A couple of months ago, a few city public schools had to temporarily close because of heating problems. If anyone thinks a family would move to the city or stay in the city because of its public school system, then they have another thing coming. The city’s public school enrollment is on the decline. Families are moving to the surrounding counties so they can send their children to decent schools.