The city of Baltimore is attempting to sweeten a deal for prospective casino developers by channeling money from an impact aid fund meant for the areas surrounding the venue. There are plans for a $6million fund, set up to help out hoods affected by the casino proposals, to be given as a sweetener to developers looking at a casino in the home of Omar Little.
The money would be spread across the first three years that the casino operates and it will be used for infrastructure improvements such as roads and anything else that they may need.
Baltimore figures have given the reason that potential developers are being put off by the proposed 70% tax rate on gambling revenues and that the winner will have to pay the city and state. Deputy Mayor Kaliope Parthemos commented that they wanted to “offer something” to potential bidders and that “several groups” have already been in touch about building a casino.
The real reason is probably that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is staking on a lot on this deal going through. The incumbent said she would use proceeds from the casino to reduce Baltimore’s property taxes – currently the highest in the state and double the rate paid by those in Baltimore County. It all makes Tommy Carcetti’s problems with the Police and schools in The Wire look very familiar.
The deadline has already been pushed back from last month to a cut-off date of September for city bidders. The Commission in charge cited more time needed to answer questions from prospective bidders as the reasoning back then.
Maybe the city should just take a tap into some of Clay Davis’ sheeeeeeet. That way they wouldn’t have to channel any of this money away from the impact aid. It would mean that the Barksdale’s would likely have a stake in your casino though.