Baltimore Businesses Threaten to Withhold Taxes until City Increases Police Presence
'We are fed up and frustrated'
Business owners in Fells Point, Baltimore, have blasted Democratic leaders and threatened to withhold taxes unless police presence is increased amid a terrifying crime wave.
37 restaurant and store owners said they “have reached their breaking point” with the lawlessness unleashed by the recent police defunding by Democrat leaders.
“What is happening in our front yard — the chaos and lawlessness that escalated this weekend into another night of tragic, unspeakable gun violence — has been going on for far too long,” the group wrote Tuesday.
The small businesses say the city has become more dangerous and chaotic because “our elected leaders have closed their eyes and ears and turned their backs on our community.”
“We are fed up and frustrated, and we now realize that nothing will change unless we demand action,” they wrote.
Baltimore has been a hotbed of crime since 1967, but since the left-wing Democrats push for defunding the police, crime has become uncontrollable.
The letter was sent to Democrats Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, Councilman Zeke Cohen, and State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.
The business owners demanded the following pressing issues were addressed:
Pick up the trash.
Enforce traffic and parking laws.
Stop illegal open-air alcohol and drug sales.
Empower police to responsibly do their jobs.
They said they are prepared to take drastic action if city leaders do not address this emergency.
“So, to compel our leaders to do their job and to stand up for neighborhoods all across Baltimore, the undersigned parties are prepared to withhold our city taxes and minor privilege and permit fees and place those funds into an escrow account, which we will not release until and unless basic and essential municipal services are restored,” the business owners wrote.
Though the group said it was accustomed to crime, they said the breaking point was when three men were shot on the same day in their Fells Point neighborhood.
“When it comes to prostitution, public urination and defecation, and the illegal sale and consumption of alcohol and illicit drugs on the streets, we know these crimes are not as serious as the carjackings, shootings, and homicides that have become routine,” the business owners wrote.
“But, as this past weekend proved, a culture of lawlessness rarely remains confined to petty offenses and invariably leads to the kinds of violence and tragedy we witnessed late Saturday night.”
They added they couldn't believe they need to beg local officials to enforce the law.
“Frankly, it’s pathetic that we have to ask for these basics,” the letter read.
“But this is where we are.”
The letter closed by saying:
“Bottom line: Please do your job so we can get back to doing ours.”
The mayor’s office issued a vague statement with no plan of action to curb the snowballing crisis.
“Mayor Scott shares the business owners’ frustrations over the violence across the city and has ordered the Baltimore Police Department, Department of Public Works, and Department of Transportation to work collaboratively to address it,” the statement read, according to WMAR-TV.
“The Mayor is working tirelessly to hold people committing violence accountable, remove violent offenders from our streets, and identify illegal firearm traffickers so Baltimore residents can enjoy a night out without fear of endangerment.”
Scott did not reference the letter he received from his frustrated constituents, but he did tweet this:
Earleir this year, a Baltimore activist called on city officials to start paying murderers to stop killing people.
"I can relate to the shooters, guess what they want? They want money," he said.
"I've talked to these people, I've seen the shooters, it’s a small city, I know who the hustlers are."