Letting up on some fees isn’t enough
To the Editor:
Our new governor Larry Hogan wants to develop strategies that will improve Maryland’s economy.
He has said “Baltimore should be the state’s primary economic engine,” and pointed out the city “hasn’t been as strong as it should be.”
The first item on Governor Hogan’s agenda should be seeking ways to end this city’s war on retailers. The list of Baltimore’s “minor privilege” fees in the Guide’s Jan. 28 article, “City lets up on some fees,” is mind-boggling.
It’s time the Department of General Services is called on the carpet. How shameful a local government would inflict yearly penalties for amenities like bike racks, disability ramps and outdoor lighting.
I was aware Baltimore was unfriendly to business, but had no idea the reach of these hostilities!
As a downtown resident and shopper, I’m tired of watching retailers depart for the county. It’s wrong for a city of this size to have so many “food deserts,” or large areas where fresh produce is unavailable. And it’s also incredible we don’t have one office supply store in the downtown community.
The Baltimore Development Corporation needs to look into the harassments endured by local businesses. No doubt there are more financial annoyances lurking below the surface.
Let’s dispense with the bottle tax and end the war on plastic shopping bags. Once again, a fourth attempt to ban plastic bags is before Baltimore’s City Council.
How ironic that our city encourages businesses to make outdoor improvements and then slaps on fees for doing it.
Yet my next concern is how the city will make up for the lost revenue from “minor privilege” fees. Where will that money come from? It’s obvious we need a full scale house cleaning to put Baltimore’s defeatist business philosophies to rest.
Rosalind Ellis Heid, Inner Harbor