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Maryland Tax: Baltimore City Council Approves $20M In Tax Hikes

The Baltimore City Council has approved $20 million in new taxes that should stave off cuts to the city's police and fire departments.

The council OK'd increases to income, parking and telecommunications taxes Monday night. Council members say the revenue from those hikes will be enough to prevent the layoffs of hundreds of police officers and firefighters and the loss of the police helicopter.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake proposed those and other tax increases as a way to close a $121 million budget shortfall. Her biggest proposed moneymaker was a four-cent tax on bottled beverages, but many council members oppose that idea.

The council is expected to introduce an energy tax on industrial buildings that Council President Jack Young says could eliminate the need for the bottle tax.

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