Release: Comptroller Henry Introduces Resolution to Establish More Transparency and Accountability for Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Projects
Monday Apr 24th, 2023
204 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Geoff Shannon, Public Relations Officer
Baltimore, MD - In an effort to provide more accountability for local development projects, today Comptroller Bill Henry will be formally introducing a resolution to require a yearly memorandum on the status all Baltimore City tax increment financing (TIFs) projects.
The resolution will be voted upon by the City’s Board of Finance (BoF) monthly meeting at 3pm. The Comptroller and Mayor Brandon M. Scott are among the sitting members. When adopted, the new resolution will provide greater transparency and communication concerning the City’s public interest-based projects that use TIFs. Mayor Scott offered his full support in advance of today’s meeting.
“We need to be more thoughtful about how we fund development, and that starts by bringing in the public in the conversation,” Comptroller Bill Henry said. “This yearly memorandum will provide the clarity demanded by residents and City officials.”
Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is a development tool that uses increased property tax revenues from new projects within a defined geographic area to fund public infrastructure. High-profile projects that have used TIFs include Port Covington, Clipper Mill, Belvedere Square, Harborview and Harbor Point.
Under the Comptroller’s proposed resolution, the Department of Finance will publish a status report noting all City TIF projects and providing a brief description of each TIF along with details on bond sales, project budget breakdowns, the amount of debt service paid, and any other pertinent information. The report would be published each November and cover the previous fiscal year.
If approved, the memorandum would be posted on the Board of Finance website. A copy of the resolution is available for public view.
“Leveraging tax dollars for shovels in the ground only works when we start to replenish that lost revenue,” Henry said. “We need to make sure that revenue is accounted for.”
The Board of Finance
Established under Article VII Section 19-21 of the City Charter, the Board of Finance features The Mayor, Comptroller, and three private citizens appointed by the City Council. A list of the Board’s full authorized responsibilities is available at the BoF website.