Washington, DC 20007ph 202-625-0370
TO: American Beverage AssociationFROM: The Mellman Group, Inc.RE: Attitudes In Baltimore Related To Financing School ConstructionDATE: May 30, 2012
The Mellman Group conducted a survey of 600 likely 2012 voters in the City of Baltimore for the American Beverage Association. The poll was conducted by telephone May 17-21, 2012, and used a registration-based sample. The margin of error for this survey is +/-4%. The margin of error is larger for subgroups.
Our recently completed survey shows majorities reporting that recent stories about problemswith city operations give
serious” concerns about the city’s ability to manage its
finances. Still, there is majority support for some of the proposals being considered to fundschool construction, including using taxes from slots and casinos, increasing the tax onbillboards, and using proceeds from speeding tickets and red light cameras. However, strongmajorities of over sixty percent are
to increasing the beverage container tax orincreasing taxes on soda and other drinks
the two proposals that garner the broadest andstrongest opposition.
Reports Of Financial Mismanagement In The City Raise Very Serious Concerns
Of late, there have been a number of reports in local news media describing mismanagement of Baltimore city finances. The best known of these are overcharging for water bills and thetroubled negotiations for the upcoming Baltimore Grand Prix IndyCar race. Nearly half (49%) of
voters say they have heard “a great deal” about the “problems with water bills” and 33% say they
have heard a great deal about the handling of the race. Nearly four in five (79%) have heard
either “a greatdeal” or “some”
about problemswith water billsand more than sixin ten (64%) haveheard about thepotential loss of the IndyCar race,while over a thirdare aware of therenovation of theschool districtheadquarters(35%) and luxurycondo ownerspaying lower taxrates than otherhomeowners(36%).
Does this raise very serious concerns,somewhat serious concerns, not too serious concerns,or no concerns at all about mismanagement by Baltimore City officials?
As you may know, Baltimore’s public works de
partment hasoverbilled nearly one in 10 customers on their water bill,leading to over $4 million in refunds to 38,000 customers.
As you may know, Baltimore lost out on more than $10million in property tax revenue over the last several yearsbecause some 200 luxury condos were assessed well belowtheir value.
As you may know, there has been criticism of city officials’
handling of the Baltimore Grand Prix IndyCar race, withallegations of city money not being reimbursed, promisedrevenues not materializing, and mishandling of negotiationsfor the upcoming race, which could lead to the cancellation of the event and lost revenues and business for the city.
As you may know, the city recently spent $500,000 to
upgrade offices at the school district’s headquarters.