The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Baltimore City Broke
– From Money It Gives to Corporations

Oct 29, 2012

Baltimore, the city that claims to be broke, is making a 35-million-dollar gift to Under Armour corporation to help them expand. Under Armour is a billion dollar a year sportswear manufacturer.

Baltimore’s budget is supposedly short 60 million dollars this year. The city has imposed furlough days on employees, charged them more for health and pension benefits; contracted out and laid off. The city has shut libraries, rec centers and two fire stations. And all these attacks are supposed to be caused by a shortage of revenue.

But Under Armour gets 35 million dollars up front from the city. This sweetheart deal was pushed with promises that city residents would get a chance at 400 to 500 new jobs as the company expands.

Maybe a few. But all past promises of more jobs by companies that get special deals turned out to be lies.

Baltimore politicians have all kinds of special deals for companies: tax increment financing, low-cost bonds, enterprise zones or payments-in-lieu-of-taxes, PILOTS. That’s why the city is short of money year after year.