Baltimore's use of eminent domain and high property taxes have caused residents and businesses to leave the city, according to a report by a Loyola College economist.
The city's policies especially in the developing Charles Center neighborhood and the Inner Harbor have resulted in Baltimore's high crime rate, poverty and declining neighborhoods, Stephen J.K. Walters wrote in the report, entitled ''Baltimore's Flawed Renaissance.''
Baltimore residents fear the use of eminent domain, and because of that are less likely to improve properties and many ultimately leave the city, the report said.
The report also cited the city's highest-in-the-state property tax rate. High taxes caused the city to give major companies tax breaks and subsidies, money the city could have better spent in ways that helped all Baltimore residents, Walters wrote in the report published by the Institute for Justice, a libertarian law firm in Arlington, Va.
Such policies ''doomed the majority of the city's neighborhoods to continued decay,'' the report said. ''Baltimore is today two cities, separate and unequal, not in spite of its extravagant and interventionist redevelopment program, but because of it.''
Matthew Crenson, an emeritus professor of political science at the Johns Hopkins University, said the report did not address the effects of deindustrialization, school desegregation or the 1968 riots. The report also does not indicate whether Baltimore uses eminent domain more than other American cities, Crenson said.
-It certainly puts a crimp on trying to place improvements on the parcel, when individuals know the government will acquire their property in order to transfer it to a developer, .
When developers know that if they want to develop, and the community will acquire the property for them through the eminent domain process; developers will never provide an offer to purchase at fair market value, thereby lowering demand in the market.