Sign the Petitions

Two Charter Amendments. One Goal

Together, we can prevent political decision-making that keeps Baltimore City’s property tax rate the highest in the state.

Baltimore City’s Charter requires that any changes to the taxation of property can be accomplished either through an act of the Baltimore City Council or by a referendum of Baltimore City voters. The complicated and politically-charged nature of local tax and budget policy often leaves our elected leaders with little incentive to make long-needed reforms to the city’s property tax rate. For this reason, Renew Baltimore is proposing two amendments to our Baltimore City’s Charter that would: A) lower & cap the Baltimore City property tax rate, and B) reduce the chances of the lower property tax rate being reversed by arbitrary political decisions in the future.

The Renew Baltimore Charter Amendments

Most amendments to Baltimore City’s Charter may be proposed either by a resolution of the Mayor of Baltimore and the City Council or through a petition signed by at least 10,000 Baltimore City voters. Once a proposed amendment receives the required number of valid, supporting petition signatures, referendum question(s) will be included on the ballot for voters to consider in the November General Election.

By incorporating a percentage cap on Baltimore City’s property tax rate in the Charter, we can rest assured that tax rates won’t easily fall victim to shifting political winds in the future.

Corresponding Referendum Petition Language​

To incorporate percentage caps on real property tax rates in Article II, Sec. 39 of the Baltimore City Charter. The proposed amendment would go into effect if at the election the majority of the votes cast for and against the amendment shall be in favor thereof, the amendment shall be adopted and become a part of the Charter of Baltimore City from and after the thirtieth day after the election. The property tax cap would start at 2.00% in the 2023-2024 fiscal year and decrease to 1.25% over a period of five fiscal years.

While the Maryland State Constitution clearly grants the City’s registered voters the power to amend the Baltimore City Charter through collective action, defined as a petitioning process, an ambiguity in Article II, sec. 49 of the Charter could be misconstrued to deny voters the power to fix the inequity in tax rates. It’s for this reason that a companion petition is being put forth in order to remove any question about voters’ power to mandate an equitable tax structure and prevent future arbitrary increases.

Corresponding Referendum Petition Language​

To amend the Baltimore City Charter to delete and strike language in Article II, Sec. 49 of the Baltimore City Charter so that language shall be of no force or effect. Such stricken language relates to the right of the City and its inhabitants to initiate legislation related to the classification and taxation of property in the City. The proposed amendment would go into effect if at the election the majority of the votes cast for and against the amendment shall be in favor thereof, the amendment shall be adopted and become a part of the Charter of Baltimore City from and after the thirtieth day after the election.

How to Sign the Petitions

While the process of completing and signing the petitions is very simple, state and local laws for referendum petitions require that very specific measures are taken to ensure the validity of every signature. As such, petitions cannot be signed electronically. Instead, the petitions must be filled-in and signed on paper and mailed to: Renew Baltimore at 732 Deepdene Rd., P.O. Box #26144, Baltimore, MD 21210 OR collected by a member of the Renew Baltimore team, a volunteer, or a paid circulator who is familiar with the requirements. See below to print or request petition copies.

Print the Petitions

**Please read the instructions below carefully before printing the petitions.**

  1. There are two different petitions (A and B). Both must be completed and signed.
  2. The petitions must be printed as a two-sided (front-back) document in order to be valid and get counted. If you are unable to print double-sided documents, please complete the form below to request a petition be sent to you.
  3. Each petition has four boxes for four different people to complete and sign. You can return a petition page with only one box completed (by one person) – or with up to four boxes completed.
  4. Read all “Petition Signature Requirements (Instructions)” below under Additional Information for Petition Signers.
Petition A: Capping Baltimore City’s property tax rate
Petition B: Allowing an amendment to the City Charter

Request Petition Copies

Please complete the form below with your contact information to receive printed petition copies in the mail. If you would like to distribute petition copies to friends and neighbors, you can also use the form below to request multiple copies.

Please share your contact information. We’ll be in touch soon to follow up on your request!

Additional Information for Petition Signers and Circulators

You must be a registered voter in Baltimore City (Click here to check your registration status.) Each registered voter signing the petition must provide the following information on the signature page (all information except the signature must be printed or typed in the appropriate space on the form):

Date of Signing

Signer’s printed full name, as it appears in voting records:

Sign your full legal name as it appears on your voter registration. All components of your name as registered (last name, first name and the initial of any middle or other name) must be included in both the printed name and signature portions of the petition entry to be valid. The printed name is not required to match the signature, but the names must be consistent. For example:

Printed Name Signed Name Acceptable or Not?
John Henry Smith John Henry Smith Acceptable
John Smith John H. Smith Acceptable
John Smith J. Henry Smith Acceptable
John Smith J. H. Smith Acceptable
J. Smith J. Smith Not Acceptable
J. Smith J. H. Smith Not Acceptable

Signer's current permanent residence address (including street, house and apartment number, city, and zip code):

A business address is insufficient, and a post office box address will be sufficient only if there is no street and house number designation for the voter's residence and only if the post office box address is on record with the election office. Residents can be registered voters even without a residence if they live and receive mail in Baltimore City. When signing a petition, you should use your voter registration address.

Date of Birth

Each registered voter is asked to include his/her date of birth on the petition. The date of birth greatly assists the local board in identifying a voter and therefore validating the voter’s signature. If a voter refuses to provide a year of birth, the circulator should request a month and day of birth at a minimum. A signature will not be invalidated merely because the date of birth is omitted.

Signature

(your name as it appears in voting records or your last name and at least one full given name and the initial of any other name; do not use nicknames).

Note: You may only sign a petition for the same referendum once. Voters may sign multiple, different petitions as they wish.

 Each signature page of the petition must include an affidavit, completed by a circulator who is an individual (not a business or organization), stating that:

  1. All identifying information given by the circulator is true and correct;
  2. Signatures were placed on the petition in the circulator’s presence; and
  3. Based on the circulator’s best knowledge and belief, each signature on the page is genuine and each signer is a registered voter in Baltimore City.

Notes:

  • Renew Baltimore will provide volunteers with an affidavit to include with petition packages.
  • Circulators must sign and date the affidavit but should wait until after all petition signers have signed and dated the page. Any signature on the page that is dated after the circulator’s affidavit is invalid.
  • A petition circulator must be at least 18 years old when any signature covered by the affidavit is placed on the petition. Maryland law does not require the petition circulator to be a registered voter or a Maryland resident.