The people of Baltimore, Maryland, have had a rough couple of years, well actually a turbulent decade. For a city once defined by its heritage and history, it is now known as the most dangerous city in the entire US. It is a place where trash and human refuse literally lines the streets, where even adult men are afraid to go out after dark, and where crime and corruption abound en mass.
As in any city or area, what happens there has to do with the kind of leaders in charge. Take the position of mayor, for example. New, interim Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young is only in office temporarily, as he has said he will not run for a full term of his own, but that hasn’t stopped him from continuing the cycle of unlawfulness that seems to come with the position. Headlines just reported that he currently has to make “corrections” to his taxes at the IRS’ request.
As the Baltimore Sun explains, “Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. ‘Jack’ Young collected a homestead tax credit of about $1000 on a rowhouse in East Baltimore he doesn’t live in – and will return the money, a spokesman said Monday.”
Apparently, “Young owns two homes in East Baltimore – a condo on Central Avenue worth $62,600 and a house five blocks away on Madison Street worth $70,000. He has collected the tax credit of an owner-occupied property for years at the Madison Street address, which he considers his longtime home…”
The Sun continued, “Lester Davis, a spokesman for Young, said the mayor still considers the Madison Street address his home and will move back there once his daughter has her own home. Davis said he did not know the exact month that Young changed residences.”
Now, to be clear, collecting a tax credit on a home you don’t live in most definitely against the law. However, this seems to be more of an accounting error than a purposeful decision to line his pockets. Young’s daughter was recently married, and because she and her new husband do not currently have a home of their own, Young and his wife offered to let them stay in their family home. To give the new couple some privacy, Young and his wife moved into their Central Avenue condo for a time until a new home could be found for the newlyweds.
However, when the taxes were filed, Young claimed the tax credit on the main house as usual, possibly just out of habit. And since he didn’t claim the same credit on the condo, which would have been a far more severe error, the amounts were basically a wash. This has made many believe that it was an honest mistake.
As was mentioned by the Baltimore Sun, Young is in the process of correcting the taxes now and has promised to pay back the $1000 he received from the IRS. And let’s hope this is the last of it. The people of Baltimore deserve a break from corrupt mayors. The previous three have all been forced to leave before their term was up or leave on not so good conditions.
The woman Young replaced Catherine Push, is currently being charged with multiple charges of tax evasion and scandal which swindled thousands of dollars through her children’s books. The mayor before that did actually serve a full term. However, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake destroyed her attempt at a second term due to the poor way in which she handled the Freddie Gray riots that set much of her city on fire and burned entire blocks.
Before that, Baltimore was put into the not so trust-worthy hands of Shelia Dixon who was convicted of embezzlement in 2010 and forced to leave office.
So the good people of Baltimore have not had a well-intentioned mayor since Martin O’Malley in 2007. It’s no wonder citizens are fleeing by the hundreds for safer and more stable places to live.
While Young seems to be the best thing to have come around in a while, we aren’t sure the man or woman to replace him will be any better. After all, corruption flows downward and when you have congress members such as Elijah Cummings representing a district, it’s no shock that anyone put in leadership under him would be just as evil.
Let’s just hope the people of Baltimore have finally had enough and choose to put leaders in place who are actually for their constituents and not their own pockets.