News on the Port Covington TIF
For immediate release:
Contact: Maryland Consumer Rights Coaltion
Yesterday, the Baltimore City Planning Commission voted to unamiously approve the record-breaking $535 million tax increment financing (TIF) for the Port Covington project, sending it on its way to City Council for further review.
Advocates at the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition are concerned about how quickly the approval process is moving, considering the huge financial ask this application contains. Without careful and deliberate consideration, analysis, and negotiation, this project could overlook best practices and opportunities for community benefit.
The Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition gave testimony at yesterday's Planning Commission hearing, asking them to consider the following recommendations:
- Greater transparency, including a TIF website, annual reports from the developer, a redovelopment plan, benchmarks and standards, and lots of opportunity for honest public input.
- Independent analysis of the TIF. This is especially important considering the fact that the current analysis uses facts and figures that were paid for by the developer (Sagamore). New analysis should focus on lessons and best practices learned from previous taxpayer supported economic development projects such as Harbor East, EBDI, and Westport.
- Strengthening of the MOU, by adding stronger language and higher thresholds for afforable housing and other community benefits.
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