Low wage earners who work for Baltimore city will get a boost to owning homes in the city thanks to the work of the City Union of Baltimore. The union worked with elected officials to get a property tax credit through the General Assembly and now it has been introduced at the local level. This credit would give the lowest paid city employees a $2,500 property tax credit. CUB President Antoinette Ryan-Johnson said, “City employees sometimes risk health and harm to do their job,” a reference to injuries and near fatalities suffered by city employees.
The tax credit was introduced at the Council meeting Monday night, but the press conference announcing the bill was attended by a number of council persons indicating their support for the resolution. Former Delegate Bilal Ali and Delegate Stephanie Smith attended the press conference representing state legislators who passed the enabling legislation. Former Del. Ali, initially attempted to get the bill passed during the 2018 session. While it didn’t pass then, Del. Smith carried the legislation forward, and with the support of state Sen. Bill Ferguson, the legislation cleared the statehouse.
The resolution introduced by Councilman Ryan Dorsey will face public hearings and potential debate in the Council chambers before passage. In order to qualify, city employees must be continuously employed for 12 months with the city, have worked a minimum of 1,500 hours, and be classified as a regular, full-time employee by the Department of Human Resources. They must own the home and use it as their principal residence.