Baltimore Charter Decoded

Accessible Law for All People

§ II-63 Community Benefits District Authorities.

(a) In general.

(1)To establish, by ordinance, not more than six community benefits district management
authorities, including the Charles Village Community Benefits District and the Midtown
Community Benefits District, within the City to provide services consistent with paragraph
(2) of this subsection to the business interests and residents of the proposed district.

(2)To establish community benefits district management authorities to promote and market
districts, provide supplemental security and maintenance services, provide amenities in
public areas, provide park and recreational programs and functions, and after an authority is
established, other services and functions as requested by the authority and approved through
an ordinance by the Mayor and City Council.

(3)To provide that community benefits district management authorities shall be proposed by the
Board of Estimates of Baltimore City and approved through an ordinance by the Mayor and
City Council.

(b) Charles Village Community Benefits District.

(1)The ordinance establishing the Charles Village Community Benefits District Management
Authority shall specify and modify the boundaries of the district, but in no event shall the
district be outside of the lines, as follows:

(i)on the south, a line beginning at the intersection of the center lines of 20th Street and
Howard Street, running east along the center line of 20th Street to the center line of
Guilford Avenue; then

(ii)running north along the center line of Guilford Avenue to the center line of 25th
Street; then

(iii) running east along the center line of 25th Street to the center line of Loch Raven
Boulevard; then running northeast along the centerline of Loch Raven Boulevard to
the center line of the tracks of the CSX Railroad (approximately 500 feet north of 25th
Street); then

(iv) running west along the center line of the CSX railroad tracks to the center line of
Greenmount Avenue; then

(v)running north along the center line of Greenmount Avenue to the center line of Old
York Road; then

(vi) running north along the center line of Old York Road to the center line of 43rd Street;
then

(vii) running west along the center line of 43rd Street to the center line of Greenmount
Avenue; then

(viii) running south along the center line of Greenmount Avenue to the center line of
33rd Street; then

(ix) running west along the center line of 33rd Street to the center line of Charles Street;
then

(x)running south along the center line of Charles Street to the center line of 29th Street;
then

(xi) running west along the center line of 29th Street to the center line of Howard Street;
then running south along the center line of Howard Street to the center line of 26th
Street; then

(xii) running west along the center line of 26th Street to the center line of Huntingdon
Avenue; then running south along the center line of Huntingdon Avenue to the center
line of 25th Street; then

(xiii) running east along the center line of 25th Street to the center line of Howard Street;
then

(xiv) running south along the center line of Howard Street to the center line of 24th Street;
then

(xv) running west along the center line of 24th Street to the center line of Huntingdon
Avenue; then

(xvi) running south along the center line of Huntingdon Avenue to the center line of 23rd
Street; then running west along the center line of 23rd Street to the center line of
Huntingdon Avenue; then

(xvii) running south along the center line of Huntingdon Avenue to the center line of 21st
Street; then

(xviii) running east along the center line of 21st Street to the center line of Howard Street;
then

(xix) running south along the center line of Howard Street to the center line of 20th Street
(point of origin).

(2)Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Charles Village Community Benefits
District may include properties binding on either side of a street or the CSX railroad tracks
where they comprise part of the boundaries under this subsection.

(c) Scope of establishing ordinance.

An ordinance establishing a community benefits district management authority shall address the
following:

(1)specify the powers and functions within the limits of this section, which may be exercised
and conducted by the Authority and the amount of taxes or charges which may be
imposed on properties in the district.

(2)specify the duration of the Authority and define the boundaries of the district.

(3)provide for the imposition and collection of the taxes or charges and for disbursement of
the revenue therefrom to the Authority. The financial plan of the Authority, including its
annual budget and its tax rate and schedule of charges, shall be subject to approval by the
Board of Estimates. Taxes and charges imposed under this paragraph may not exceed
those proposed by the Authority.

(4)determine the organization and method of initial appointment of officers and board
members of the Authority. The majority of the members of the board shall be owners or
representatives of owners of properties in the district that are subject to taxes or charges
under this section. A voting member of the board must be eligible to vote in the election
under subsection (j) {subsection (k)} of this section.

(5)determine what classes of property in the district owned by public service companies as
defined in Article 78 of the Annotated Code of Maryland {now, Public Utility Companies
Article} shall be subject to or exempt from taxes or charges under this section.

(d) Powers of Authority.

As provided by ordinance, the Authority may have the power:

(1)to be a special tax district and to conduct the functions which are assigned to it by the
City;

(2)to acquire, hold and use property necessary to achieve its purposes;

(3)to make contracts;

(4)to sue and be sued;

(5)to borrow and accept grants for purposes consistent with the purposes of the Authority;

(6)to employ and discharge personnel to carry out its public purposes;

(7)to propose in its annual budget the taxes or charges on properties within the district.
Property that is exempt under State law from ordinary property taxes shall be exempt
from taxes or charges assessed to support the Authority. Before adopting its proposed
budget and making its recommendations to the City, an Authority shall hold a public
hearing on taxes or charges proposed for the district. The Authority shall publish notice
of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in Baltimore City at least once a
week for 3 consecutive weeks before the hearing;

(8)to adopt, amend and modify bylaws, all of which shall be subject to the approval of the
Board of Estimates;

(9)to establish and elect officers and provide for their terms and duties;

(10) to contract for and purchase goods and services, without being subject to the City
requirements regarding wage scales, competitive bidding or other local procurement laws.
However, the Authority shall be subject to City ordinances and City policy requiring
achievement of goals regarding minority and womens business enterprises; and

(11) to do all things necessary or convenient to carry out its powers.
(e) Limitations.

An Authority created under this section may not:

(1)exercise any police or general powers other than those authorized by State law and City
ordinance;

(2)pledge the full faith or credit of the City;

(3)impose taxes or charges in excess of those approved by the Board of Estimates;

(4)exercise the power of eminent domain;

(5)extend its life without the approval of the City Council;

(6)except as otherwise provided by law, engage in competition with the private sector;

(7)except as otherwise provided in subsection (i) {subsection (j)} of this section, revert
charges or taxes collected pursuant to this section to the General Fund of the City;

(8)be an agency of the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore or the State of Maryland{,} and
its officers and employees may not act as agents or employees of the Mayor and City
Council of Baltimore or the State of Maryland;

(9)employ individuals who reside outside the City of Baltimore; and

(10) except as required or appropriate to facilitate its normal operations, incur debt.

(f) Considerations.

In adopting an ordinance, the City Council shall:

(1)give consideration to the views of the property owners, the retail merchants, the property
tenants, and the other members of the business and residential communities within the
district;

(2)make a determination that a district created under this section will reflect a diverse mix of
business and residential properties; and

(3)make a determination that a district created under this section will reflect a diverse
economic, social, and racial mix.

(g) Periodic reviewGeneral.

The Mayor and City Council shall review the effectiveness and desirability of continuing the
existence of any district established under this section every 4 years from the enactment of the
ordinance.

(h) Periodic reviewSpecific.
(1)The Mayor and City Council shall review and determine the desirability of continuing the
existence of each community benefits district established under this section every 4 years:

(i)beginning with the first meeting of the Mayor and City Council in December 2001 for
the Charles Village Community Benefits District, Management Authority;

(ii)beginning with the first meeting of the Mayor and City Council in December, 2003
for the Midtown Community Benefits District; and

(iii) beginning 4 years after the date of the establishment of any other community benefits
district created under this section.

(2)If the continuing existence of a community benefits district is not approved:

(i)the district shall cease to exist at the end of the Citys fiscal year in which approval
was not granted; and

(ii)the District Management Authority shall continue its existence only as long as
necessary to terminate operations in a reasonable manner and to arrange for the
disposition of all funds not needed to satisfy outstanding obligations and reserves for
uncertain obligations and liabilities.

(i) City not to reduce services.

The Mayor and City Council of Baltimore may not permit a reduction in the services provided by
the City in a district due to the establishment of a community benefits district management
authority.

(j) Dissolution.

In the event of a dissolution of a community benefits district, any unspent funds shall revert back
to the Citys General Fund.

(k) Approval by affected voters.

(1)An ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall take effect only if approved by 58% of
the aggregate votes cast in a special election by the affected voters.

(2)The ordinance shall provide criteria for the eligibility of voters for purposes of the election
required by this subsection.

(3)The ordinance shall provide procedures for a special election as required in this subsection,
which may be administered by write-in ballots.
(Ch. 732, Acts of 1994; Ch. 3, Acts of 1995; Ch. 10, Acts of 1996; Ch. 655, Acts of 1997; Ch. 89, Acts of
2000; Ch. 475, Acts of 2003.)

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