Businesses threaten to withhold taxes amid violence


BALTIMORE — More than three dozen business owners in Fells Point are threatening to withhold tax and permit payments if Baltimore officials don’t restore “basic and essential municipal services.”

News outlets report that in a letter sent Tuesday to officials including the mayor, council president, police commissioner and state’s attorney, the group complained about illegal alcohol and drug sales, trash pickup, public drinking, parking enforcement and other problems.

The demands come days after three people were shot early Sunday in the historic waterfront neighborhood known for its vibrant nightlife.

“What is happening in our front yard — the chaos and lawlessness that escalated this weekend into another night of tragic, unspeakable gun violence — has been going on for far too long,” the letter states.

If the city doesn’t respond, business owners say they’ll withhold tax and permit payments, placing those funds into an escrow account.

Mayor Brandon Scott shares their frustrations over violence and has ordered police, public works and transportation officials to address the issues, spokesman Cal Harris said in a statement.

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