First, I wanted to qualify my discussion of cigarette taxes by Maryland Health Initiative as a smoking cessation tool. Blended cigarettes are now the product people still smoking move to as cigarette corporations are moving cheaper brands into the US to replace the higher priced brands. This will continue even as taxes go up. Higher taxes did the job of keeping many groups from affording cigarettes and to go higher will not help----it is actually harming citizens as they are pushed to worse alternatives.
Blended cigarettes are simply the products global tobacco corporations like Phillip Morris sell all over the developing world and they never have met any health standards for the US. It is well documented that these cigarettes are far worse in health hazards then regular US-made cigarettes because they have fillers that are cheap and more toxic. When US tobacco corporations were limited in sales in the US they went global and with that standards for health disappeared----that is what lower cost blended cigarettes are and they are now being allowed sales in the US with no FDA regulation----Trans Pacific Trade Pact does not allow nations to have regulations that protect health and hinder profit and this is one example of GLOBAL CORPORATE POLS NOT CARING ABOUT HEALTH OUTCOMES. When Maryland Assembly simply keeps raising these cigarette taxes without knowing cigarette policy-----they are not protecting the citizens of Maryland.
When Maryland Health Initiative tells me they do not know about blended cigarettes and have no interest in providing research to get rid of them or educate against them----but rather TAX TAX TAX -----we have failed policy that hurts the American people. Even if you do not smoke---knowing the FDA no longer regulates and protects against product harm should make everyone ENGAGE IN POLITICS
THIS IS ONLY HAPPENING BECAUSE GLOBAL CORPORATE NEO-CONS AND NEO-LIBERALS ARE CONTROLLING US POLITICAL PARTIES.
Johns Hopkins School of Public Health knows these tobacco facts and they know people are moving to these more dangerous brands and they know the state health policy THEY WROTE is excluding most people from accessing many kinds of cancer treatments including lung cancer. So, to claim success in policy because people needing access to lung health issues can no longer access the care-----is like claiming higher education scores because you have pushed the lower education achievers out of the school system----also a Johns Hopkins policy.
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Winston This brand was launched in the United States in 1954 by R.J. Reynolds who named it after its hometown, Winston Salem. Within a year it was the country’s best selling filter cigarette. Today it is the number two cigarette in the world, available in over 100 countries.
Camel Camel has a history that stretches back more than 100 years. Launched in 1913, Camel was the first worldwide cigarette trademark. Today, it is JTI’s main international premium brand. It is sold in over 100 countries.
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My favorite Baltimore Development/Johns Hopkins pols introduced the bills in Maryland Assembly this week that are tied to handing public housing over to private investment firms to manage and later own. I've talked about the housing justice issues and how this violates Constitutional War on Poverty programs for low-income people----today I simply want to look at this as tax policy.
Senate Bill 356 and HB497 have to do with giving a tax credit to what will be a private investment ownership of public housing. It allows for more public private partnerships where corporations control government/public functions....this time in public housing.
The Bill below is very boring but what it is doing is setting law that broadens the tax exemption categories for corporations taking more and more of our public real estate. So, we have M and T Stadium as public land tax free to the Ravens------Hilton with the land public and tax free to Hilton-----and now they are doing the same with our public housing property-----tax-free. Remember, Baltimore has sit public policy in motion that will do the same for the real estate tied to our public schools with the credit bond school building scheme. Each time a bill comes up that is most egregious to citizens and justice in the Maryland Assembly and targets just Baltimore-----the fellow committee members remind everyone that
BALTIMORE POLS REQUEST THESE KINDS OF LEGISLATION THAT ARE PARTICULAR JUST TO BALTIMORE.
ALL OF BALTIMORE'S MARYLAND ASSEMBLY POLS SPONSORED THIS HORRIBLE AND HURTFUL POLICY FOR BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT AND JOHNS HOPKINS.
McFadden in the Senate----and
HOUSE BILL 497Q15lr1391CF SB 356
By: Delegate Anderson (By Request –Baltimore City Administration) and Delegates Conaway, Glenn, Haynes, and B.Robinson
I'm not going into the justice issues----but this is yet another example of corporate tax subsidy in Baltimore that will carry on for years. Again, no tax revenue from a policy that does not even need to exist. Those public housing buildings could have been renovated as public housing for less than what the city will lose in tax base. This is designed to give an investment firm no doubt tied to Johns Hopkins claim to public real estate in sections of city center that are expected to be high-value-----getting this land for not only next to nothing, but subsidized. If you do not know this kind of undermining of public asset wealth is illegal and public malfeasance----IT IS AND WE WILL BE GOING TO COURT.
THIS MAY BE HAPPENING IN YOUR NECK OF THE NATION----BUT I AM SURE BALTIMORE IS ONE OF A FEW PLACES THAT USE IT ILLEGALLY AND UNCONSTITUTIONALLY.
SENATE BILL 356Q15lr1839CF 5lr1391
By: Senator McFadden (By Request –Baltimore City Administration)Introduced and read first time: February 6, 2015
Assigned to: Budget and Taxation
A BILL ENTITLEDAN ACT concerning
Property Tax –Exemption –Low Income Housing –Ownership by Limited Liability Company FOR the purpose of providing an exemption, under certain circumstances, from property tax for certain real property if, under certain circumstances, the owner of the real property is a certain limited liability company or is a certain limited partnership whose managing general partner is a certain limited liability company; providing that the real property may be exempt from property tax only under certain circumstances; making conforming changes; providing for the application of this Act; and generally relating to a property tax exemption for certain housing for low income families.
BY repealing and reenacting, with amendments,12Article –Tax –Property Section 7–503 Annotated Code of Maryland (2012 Replacement Volume and 2014 Supplement) SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF MARYLAND, That the Laws of Maryland read as follows:
Article –Tax –Property197–503.20(a)(1)In this subsection, “essential service facilities” includes dining halls, community rooms, and infirmaries.(2)Real property that meets the requirements of subsection (b) of this 23section is not subject to property tax if the owner of the real property is:
(i)1.A.a person who meets the ownership requirements of 1§ 7–202 of this title;2B.a nonprofit corporation that is exempt from income tax under § 10–104 of the Tax –General Article; [or]C.A LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY THAT IS WHOLLY OWNED BY A NONPROFITCORPORATION THAT IS EXEMPT FROM INCOME TAX UNDER §10–104(2)OF THE TAX –GENERAL ARTICLE;OR7D.a nonprofit housing corporation as defined in § 12–104(b) of the Housing and Community Development Article; and engaged solely in constructing, operating, or managing rental housing and other related essential service facilities that:are substantially completed or substantially rehabilitated on and after July 1, 1973, or, in Montgomery County, substantially completed or substantially rehabilitated on and after January 1, 1968;are partially or totally financed under a government program that provides housing for low income families; and are operated on a nonprofit basis with the revenues from the operation of the housing and facilities controlled under the government program in order not to produce any net income; or (ii)1.a limited partnership whose managing general partner is:a housing authority as defined in § 12–101 of the Housing and Community Development Article; [or] a nonprofit corporation that is exempt from income tax under § 10–104(2) of the Tax –General Article; A LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY THAT IS WHOLLY OWNED BY A NON PROFIT CORPORATION THAT IS EXEMPT FROM INCOME TAX UNDER §10–104(2)OF THE TAX –GENERAL ARTICLE;or a for profit corporation in which 100% of the stock is owned by a nonprofit corporation that is exempt from income tax under § 10–104(2) of the Tax –General Article; and302.engaged in the operation, construction, or management of 31a qualified low income housing project as defined in the Internal Revenue Code.
People still pretending that Obama is doing a great job and is moving left at the end of his time in office are either uninformed or working as Clinton Wall Street neo-liberals. Obama is completely privatizing public housing and redesigned the Federal Housing and Urban Development to corporate and affluent development. Keep in mind why HUD was created and it is tied to Constitutional equal opportunity and access housing and all the laws with it.
THESE LAWS HAVE NOT CHANGED----OBAMA AND STATE POLITICIANS ARE SIMPLY IGNORING THESE LAWS.
Republican voters wanting an end to public housing may think this is fine-----they do care about the excessive corporate subsidy and the higher taxes it brings to working and middle-class Baltimore residents. So, if you do not care about low-income people---you should care about this source of ever-higher taxes.
This article is great because it shows the hypocracy of Clinton Wall Street neo-liberals as they chant all of this is the Tea Party or Koch Brother's fault.
IT IS BEING DONE BY CLINTON WALL STREET GLOBAL CORPORATE NEO-LIBERALS AND BUSH NEO-CONS. TAG TEAM FOR GLOBAL CORPORATE WEALTH AND PROFIT.
I am going to venture a guess that these Baltimore City pols are tied to insider pay-to-play in these illegal real estate deals-----the same is well-documented in other cities. Baltimore simply does not have the media or academic institutions holding power accountable.
You see below an article written in California highlighting Maxine Waters doing just as McFadden and Kurt Anderson et al are doing in Baltimore. Waters was listed with Pelosi and Ben Cardin for Congressional Insider Trading with her husband's connection to the banks profiting from these deals. Who interned with Maxine Waters? Heather Mizeur----Clinton neo-liberal from Maryland running as the progressive for Governor of Maryland.
Privatizing public housing--Obama's "Shock Doctrine" march to the right of Bush
by: Paul Rosenberg Sat May 22, 2010 at 12:00
[Note]: This was not a diary I had planned for today The Bush Administration jumped on Katrina as an opportunity to advance their privatization agenda, with two major targets: public schools and public housing. As Open Left's focus on education has shown (see Jeff's regular Sunday "Left Ed" diaries at 4 PM), Obama's education agenda has actually expanded Bush's attack on public education. Now, as David Kaib highlights in quick hits, Obama is attack public housing as well.
There is a need for money to invest in public housing, and it would have been a perfect fit within a decently-conceived stimulus package. But of course, there wasn't room for it because of all the tax cuts and its deliberate small size. So now, privatization is the answer, as if the private housing market hadn't already done enough damage to last the rest of the century. David links to a Dkos diary by George Lakoff. "Below the Radar: HUD is Trying to Privatize and Mortgage Off All of America's Public Housing" which begins thus:
The Obama Administration's move to the right is about to give conservatives a victory they could not have anticipated, even under Bush. HUD, under Obama, submitted legislation called PETRA to Congress that would result in the privatization of all public housing in America. The new owners would charge ten percent above market rates to impoverished tenants, money that would be mostly paid by the US government (you and me, the taxpayers). To maintain the property, the new owners would take out a mortgage for building repair and maintenance (like a home equity loan), with no cap on interest rates.
With rents set above market rates, the mortgage risk would be attractive to banks. Either they make a huge profit on the mortgages paid for by the government. Or if the government lowers what it will pay for rents, the property goes into foreclosure. The banks get it and can sell it off to developers.
Sooner or later, the housing budget will be cut back and such foreclosures will happen. The structure of the proposal and the realities of Washington make it a virtual certainty.
The banks and developers make a fortune, with the taxpayers paying for it. The public loses its public housing property. The impoverished tenants lose their apartments, or have their rents go way up if they are forced into the private market. Homelessness increases. Government gets smaller. The banks and developers win. It is a Bank Bonanza! The poor and the public lose.
And a precedent is set. The government can privatize any public property: Schools, libraries, national parks, federal buildings - just as has begun to happen in California, where the right-wing governor has started to auction off state property and has even suggested selling off the Supreme Court building.
The rich will get richer, the poor and public get poorer. And the very idea of the public good withers.
And Lakoff quotes from PETRA the statement that bill's intent is to:
provide the opportunity for public housing agencies and private owners to convert from current forms of rental assistance under a variety of programs to long-term, property-based contracts that will enhance market-based discipline and enable owners to sustain operations and leverage private financing to address immediate and long-term capital needs and implement energy-efficiency improvements. Paul Rosenberg :: Privatizing public housing--Obama's "Shock Doctrine" march to the right of Bush The Los Angeles Coalition to End Hunger and Homelessness (LACEHH) has a blog with a fact sheet, and a 2-part sign-on letter to Housing Secretary Donovan (Part 1, Part 2). In its "background" section, the fact sheet explains: -Public Housing is owned and operated by the government, namely the local Public Housing Authority (PHA) through a contract with HUD. - Public Housing Authorities have been lobbying for 100% disposition of Public Housing. As a result, HUD approved requests for several cities to completely eliminate their Public Housing stock. As a result, the City of Atlanta, GA and the City of San Diego, CA have completely eliminated their public housing stock.
- HUD estimates a $24 billion funding shortfall for capital improvements on Public Housing. Although Congress did provide $4 billion in stimulus money in FY2010 for Public Housing capital improvements, this is just a small amount needed according to their estimates.
- Based on their powerpoint, HUD anticipates leveraging $7.5 billion in one year from private banks and other private funding under the Transforming Rental Assistance Program.
And in its "Solutions" section it says:
- The obvious solution to fixing up Public Housing is to provide funding directly through appropriations. It makes more sense for this to be a jobs program which would put contractors and skilled tenants to work through a direct appropriation, rather than paying interest to banks for decades and jeoporadizing our public housing stock. - Congress appropriated $4 billion in stimulus funds this year for Public Housing capital improvements. If Congress committed to an additional $4 billion for 5 more years, we would have the funding necessary to make these improvements.
In addition to linking to LACEHH's blog, Lakoff's diary concludes with the following plea and contact information:
Stop PETRA. This is urgent. There is a hearing next Tuesday, May 25, before the House Financial Services Committee and the Subcommittee on Housing, organized by Rep. Maxine Waters. Phone: 202-225-2201. Fax: 202-225-7854. To write to the committee:
Write to your Congressperson now.
If you want to sign a petition, go to:
Here is a letter from the National Association of HUD Tenants:
While Rand Paul, Glenn Beck and the Tea Baggers spread their loony-tune libertatian ideology that has never worked anywhere in the world, the Obama Administration is hard at work trying to implement the "pragmatic" version, with greater professionalism and a much lower profile than the Bush Administration could ever have managed. It's our job to stop them dead in their tracks.
Maxine Waters is not a woman to be trifled with. This is a fight we can win if we can draw enough attention to it. Please help spread the word.
Who is doing the same real estate policies as we see in Baltimore-----OH, LOOK IT'S CHINA.
China is indeed a very Wall Street neo-liberal nation now and adopts all this Wall Street investment policy. Who doesn't do this? First world developed nations.
The fact that Baltimore seeks to pass laws unique to Baltimore and all of it deals with great public loss-----why are Maryland Assembly pols not from Baltimore voting for these policies? To get Baltimore pols to back their policies. China is already third world autocratic so they simply do what they want----like Baltimore.
Immigrants from Asian nations think this is business as usual----
THE RICH DO WHAT THEY WANT IN THIRD WORLD NATIONS AFTER ALL.
SAT Releases Tax Exemptions for Public Housing
Posted on September 29, 2010 by China Briefing Sept. 29 – The State Administration of Taxation announced in a statement dated Monday that it was exempting taxes on the use of urban land where the land is developed for public housing.
The steps will be a boost for companies involved in the construction and management of public housing projects.
The tax authorities also said they would stop levying stamp duties for the construction of public housing and will waive both taxes and stamp duties in cases where a property-management company buys apartments for use as public housing.
The tax incentives are scheduled to remain in effect for three years, the statement said.
Earlier this month, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao called for an increase in low-income housing as the government stepped up its efforts to cool skyrocketing housing prices, fearing a bubble could destabilize the market, drag the economy down, and increase social instability.
A regular fixture at the Maryland Assembly lobbying for funds is another Johns Hopkins development 'non-profit'.....you know, like all development corporations are not corporations and their promotion arms are not part of this corporation. They were trying to get people to volunteer to market what is development corporations and their housing projects. It is ridiculous how all of what are corporations operate not only without paying taxes, but receiving all of the public housing funding that would go to a functioning Baltimore HUD.
Not only is Baltimore HUD moving to Prince Georges with a new building paid for from the Wall Street subprime mortgage settlement from which victims of fraud received NOTHING.....but organizations like the one below are receiving not only subprime settlement money under the guise of promoting low-income housing, but they get all kinds of tax credits associated with the developments for which they work.
They organized a ballroom presentation for a network of developers and their low-income housing developments as a non-profit. Baltimore uses groups like this as Baltimore HUD low-income housing. Rather than simply abiding by Enterprise Zone Federal funding guidelines and include low-income housing right in Enterprise Zone developments-----they are using groups like Community Development Network of Maryland to steer people to these low-income developments somewhere else in Maryland.
The CDNM is simply an extension of Homewood Development Corporation that is now hawking real estate and developments across Maryland and getting all kinds of tax credits and state and city funding to do it. Remember, if all of Baltimore's Enterprise Zones for two decades had actually included all the low-income housing required-----we would have nicely income-integrated communities coming along. Rather, low-income are being sent out to surrounding suburbs around the state for low-income housing owned by big investment firms. CDNM may do small local events---but their modus operandus is marketing arm of a Homewood Development Corporation.
Look who is there-----Maggie McIntosh, Mary Washington, and Odette Ramos----Johns Hopkins pols and staff.
JOHNS HOPKINS CONTROLS ALL ----AND THEIR POLS ARE DEVOTED! ALL OF THESE TAX BREAKS AND CREDITS WE ARE SEEING FROM MARYLAND ASSEMBLY AND BALTIMORE CITY HALL ALMOST ALL END UP WITH A HOPKINS BUSINESS.
Community Development Network of Maryland
CDN is a membership organization whose sole purpose is to promote, strengthen and advocate for Maryland's community development industry.
This is what community building looks like
Posted on October 21, 2014
When local leaders and elected officials gathered to kick-off Community Development Week at GHCC’s 29th Street Community Center on October 20, what they witnessed was community building in action. Delegates Maggie McIntosh and Mary Washington were among the group that toured the Center and met many of the young families who come every week to participate in a Sing-Along Playgroup for babies and toddlers.
“I think the center means a lot for young families and I hope all of them stay in the city because of it,” said Odette Ramos, who coordinates the playgroup as well as leads the Community Development Network of Maryland.
The event received some fantastic coverage in The Baltimore Sun, citing the 29th Street Community Center as an excellent example of how GHCC successfully strengthens neighborhoods. Take a look:
‘Not just buildings': Center helps develop community
Below you see an example of what developers hiring CDNM would get for simply building homes in Maryland. Don't forget the green tax credits and property tax exclusions for simply building low-income homes. Know who would build low-income homes with no incentives on the cheap?
BALTIMORE SMALL BUSINESSES. Instead, they will be subcontractors to subcontractors.
So, when Larry Hogan and Clinton neo-liberals like O'Malley/Brown say we have to be 'business-friendly' with all of what corporations get already------watch out, somebody has to pay the taxes to support this corporate subsidy but in Baltimore who pays is gerry-mandered to the max and it is all illegal.
Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
The Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC - often pronounced "lie-tech", Housing Credit) is a dollar-for-dollar tax credit in the United States for affordable housing investments. It was created under the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (TRA86) that gives incentives for the utilization of private equity in the development of affordable housing aimed at low-income Americans. LIHTC accounts for the majority - approximately 90 percent - of all affordable rental housing created in the United States today. As the maximum rent that can be charged is based upon the Area Median Income ("AMI"), LIHTC housing remains unaffordable to many low-income (<30% AMI) renters. The credits are also commonly called Section 42 credits in reference to the applicable section of the Internal Revenue Code. The tax credits are more attractive than tax deductions as they provide a dollar-for-dollar reduction in a taxpayer's federal income tax, whereas a tax deduction only provides a reduction in taxable income. The "passive loss rules" and similar tax changes made by TRA86 greatly reduced the value of tax credits and deductions to individual taxpayers. As a result, almost all investors in LIHTC projects are corporations.
The Maryland Assembly Legislative policy services reported in committee briefings that Enterprise Zone tax credits do not achieve any of the goals for which these credits are meant. Baltimore media and everyone shouts that Enterprise Zone tax credits do not meet their goals. They have been shouting this for two decades in Baltimore -----it's all documented----and yet every year these hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits are handed out. It is simply corporate subsidy for no reason and it is fraud and public malfeasance because everyone knows contracts are being ignored.
I whispered briefly to a young Delegate to the Assembly who by the way made some great attempts at getting rid of a few corporate tax credit---I didn't get his name----GET RID OF THE ENTERPRISE ZONE TAX CREDITS to which his eyes opened wide and said -----Nooooooo!
If a business will not locate to a city without these deals---you do not want that business. If the risk is too great for that national or global corporation to come to Baltimore ----then we do not want them. We want small and regional businesses that already really want to open and thrive in Baltimore.
These Enterprise Zone tax breaks are heading to court as we sue for misappropriation.
Business Tax Credits | Enterprise Zone Tax Credit | Maryland
The Maryland business tax credit for Enterprise Zones provides a business incentive by offering income tax credits in return ... Programs for Economic Development ...