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DOMINIQUE MARIA BONESSI

Back in October, City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke moved to revive the city’s “Dollar House” program to revitalize blighted neighborhoods. On Wednesday, Councilman Zeke Cohen and a group of housing advocates delivered a petition with 20,000 signatures calling for more affordable housing in the city. And yesterday, the City Council had a hearing on Tax Increment Financing, or TIFs, like the $660 million deal Sagamore Development made with the city to develop Port Covington. WYPR’s city hall reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi joins Nathan Sterner to connect the dots.

Final vote for Port Covington TIF set

Sep 12, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

The Baltimore City Council gave preliminary approval Monday to a tax financing package for the proposed Port Covington development project.  The package is expected to pass a final vote at the council’s next meeting Sept. 19.

But Monday’s vote didn’t come before some members said they were concerned about how one of the bills – authorizing $660 million in tax bonds – was moved out of committee and to the full council.

Port Covington bond bill petitioned to full city council

Sep 12, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

The Baltimore City Council will get a look Monday at all three bills that are part of the largest tax financing package for a development project in city history.  That’s because Councilman Eric Costello led efforts to wrest the bill authorizing bonds for the Port Covington project out of its committee.

Rachel Baye

The company behind the planned Port Covington development announced Thursday a multi-million-dollar arrangement with six nearby neighborhoods in South Baltimore.

Baltimore City’s Planning Commission is to take up later today Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank’s controversial proposal to develop 160 acres of Port Covington, a massive $5.5 billion project that relies heavily on city financing. The deal is so complicated that even officials who are studying it can’t agree if the city is about to give Sagamore, Kevin Plank’s private development company, a huge tax break or not.

Courtesy of @port_covington / Twitter

Billionaire Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank is asking Baltimore City for $535 million to help fund redevelopment in Port Covington. The city would borrow against future property tax revenue to pay for streets, utilities, and other infrastructure related to the project. If approved, it would be the largest tax increment financing, or TIF, deal in city history. TIF is a common development tool across the country; the city of Baltimore has OK’d eleven deals since 2003. But tax increment financing is controversial. Supporters say it attracts private investment to blighted areas. Critics say it enriches developers at public expense. Our guests: Greg LeRoy, Executive Director of Good Jobs First, and Toby Rittner, President and CEO of the Council of Development Finance Agencies