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Baltimore group aims to stop certain ballot questions, including effort to cut city's property taxes

"Baltimore Not for Sale" aims to stop certain ballot questions
"Baltimore Not for Sale" aims to stop certain ballot questions 02:35

BALTIMORE – Baltimore City voters will likely weigh in on several ballot questions and charter amendments in November.

A group calling itself "Baltimore City Not For Sale" rallied outside a Southwest Baltimore firehouse Tuesday against an effort to cut the city's property taxes.

"This property tax reduction is dangerous," Baltimore Firefighters Union IAFF Local 734 President Matthew Coster said.

The effort to reduce property taxes has more than 20,000 signatures—exceeding the 10,000 necessary to appear on the ballot.

"Renew Baltimore" is collecting the signatures and argues property tax reduction would attract more people to live in the city.

"When you have more people living in the city, You have more people paying into the system, You can charge a lower rate and make the same money or more every year," Ben Frederick of Renew Baltimore said.

The "Not For Sale" coalition says lowering the tax rate will dramatically reduce city services and jobs.

"The math ain't mathing. It doesn't work like that," Zeke Cohen, the Democratic nominee for City Council President, said. "Which essential services do you not want anymore? Do you not want your roads? Do you not want fire? Do you not want police?"

City Elections officials confirm they have received the petition for another ballot question reducing the number of council seats from 14 to 8.

"The People for Elected Accountability and Civic Engagement," or PEACE, is behind the effort to shrink the city council, arguing it will save millions of dollars each year and help fund additional services and resources.

PEACE is the group behind the successful 2022 effort to pass Question K, which created term limits for City Council members.

City Council President Nick Mosby introduced a charter amendment to limit the mayor's power on the city's spending board. 

Currently, the mayor controls the Board of Estimates, which consists of the mayor, city council president, comptroller, city solicitor and public works director.

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