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Downtown Partnership Study Says Downtown is Vital to Baltimore Economy

More than one third of all downtown jobs are held by Baltimore City residents, and the number of employees who earned more than $40,000 per year increased 31 percent from 2004 to 2008.

That is according to a new report from Downtown Partnership of Baltimore Inc. that assesses downtown's impact on the Baltimore economy.
Officials from the group hope the report's findings will result in city policies that favor downtown.

Downtown Partnership wants city officials to create a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district for downtown, similar to those in Patrick Turner's Westport development, Harbor East, and Clipper Mill. A TIF allows the city to use debt to finance a new development with the expectation that the project will increase tax revenues in the future.

Downtown hotels contribute 89 percent of the city's total hotel tax revenue and downtown residents pay 24 percent of the city's total income taxes, the study shows. Downtown businesses pay $7.6 billion in compensation to employees, while Baltimore City businesses overall pay $19.4 billion per year to their workers, the report says.

The motivation behind the study is to understand how downtown contributes to the city's overall fiscal standing and to remind policy leaders of the importance of investing downtown, says Downtown Partnership President J. Kirby Fowler Jr.

"Baltimore is a very dense area that provides bang for the buck," Fowler says.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Kirby Fowler, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore
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