Business owners in one Baltimore district are staging a “tea party” with their taxes because of the city’s recent moves to defund police and refuse to provide basic services such as trash collection.
Dozens of business operators in the city’s Fell’s Point district have written to Mayor Brandon Scott, council members and others warning that “the chaos and lawlessness that escalated this weekend into another night of tragic, unspeakable gun violence” is unacceptable.
“Our elected leaders have closed their eyes and ears and turned their backs on our community for long enough,” they said in their letter. “We are fed up and frustrated, and we now realize that nothing will change unless we demand action.
“To compel our leaders to do their job and to stand up for neighborhoods all across Baltimore, the undersigned parties are prepared to withhold our city taxes and minor privilege and permit fees and place those funds into an escrow account, which we will not release until and unless basic and essential municipal services are restored.”
They list a failure to “pick up the trash.”
It piles up and “attracts rodents and fosters disease,” among other things, they say. “We’re sick of it.”
And they want traffic and parking laws enforced, and “open-air alcohol and drug sales” shut down.
“There are individual vendors in Fell’s Point illegally selling large volumes of alcohol, marijuana, and a range of other illicit substances directly in front of our establishments with no consequences,” they explain.
And finally, “empower police to responsibly do their job.”
“On top of everything else, some of our employees are now scared, and we are scared for our employees. In a city with organized crime and soaring gun violence, we appreciate the extraordinary demands on our police. Our officers cannot and should not use the power of arrest to address every situation. At the same time, police cannot be directed to ignore manifest lawlessness that happens right before their eyes. When it comes to prostitution, public urination and defecation, and the illegal sale and consumption of alcohol and illicit drugs on the streets, we know these crimes are not as serious as the carjackings, shootings, and homicides that have become routine. But, as this past weekend proved, a culture of lawlessness rarely remains confined to petty offenses and invariably leads to the kinds of violence and tragedy we witnessed late Saturday night,” they wrote.
Among other issues, three men were shot in the Fell’s Point district on just that one night.
The business owners explained, “Frankly, it is pathetic that we have to beg for these basics. But this is where we are.”
“Please do your job so we can get back to doing ours,” they wrote.
WBAL reported the mayor responded with a statement from his office, expressing that he shares the business owners’ “frustrations over the violence across the city.”
He said he’d ordered city workers to “address it.”
“Call it the Baltimore Tea Party,” explained PJ Media.
“The last thing Baltimore needed was to have its police defunded. But the mayor and city council followed the far-left activist agitators off that cliff in 2020, and homicide in Harm City shot up,” the report said.
“City officials are hired by voters to do their jobs. Businesses pay taxes to fund the city’s provision of services. But if the city is failing in its most fundamental duties, it doesn’t deserve the taxes. The business leaders can better spend that money on security and other services they can depend on, or something else. The city’s failure can’t and won’t go without some reaction,” PJ Media reported.
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