Sunday, September 27, 2015
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to propose tax breaks for supermarkets in food deserts
In an effort to boost food access in Baltimore, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake plans to introduce legislation Monday offering 10-year tax breaks to supermarkets in parts of the city where dedicated grocery stores are scarce.
If passed by the City Council, the proposed bill would give new or renovating supermarkets in certain areas of the city an 80 percent discount on their personal property taxes for 10 years. Personal property taxes are assessed against large pieces of equipment businesses own like freezers — they are separate from taxes on real estate. Baltimore's personal property tax rate currently stands at 5.62 percent.
To qualify for the tax breaks, opening or remodeling supermarkets would have to spend $150,000 or $25 per square foot of floor space, whichever is greater, on new personal property. They would also have to be in or adjacent to a food desert, an area where supermarkets are scarce, incomes are low and many households do not have automobiles to get to the grocery store.
at 9/27/2015 06:00:00 AM