New State Law Allows Baltimore to Impose Special Tax Rate on Vacant Properties

For decades, Baltimore City has been plagued with thousands of vacant buildings including lots, commercial and residential properties. Starting June 1, Baltimore’s City Council will have the authority to set a special tax rate for all abandoned properties.

In this year’s legislative session, the General Assembly passed the bill which Gov. Wes Moore signed into law. Lawmakers call the legislation another tool in the toolbox hoping it will deter investors from sitting on derelict properties.

“I have many vacant properties in my district,” said Baltimore City councilwoman Odette Ramos. “One of them is a corner store, and the guy’s only paying a hundred dollars for taxes and he’s just sitting on it. So, what we’re trying to do is get that up, so that it’s an incentive to say, ‘wait a second, it’s going to actually cost me less to, actually do something with it.’”