Community wealth building models and strategies aim to address chronic disinvestment in Black neighborhoods. Implementing community wealth building will help to create an inclusive, sustainable economy built on locally rooted and broadly held ownership. Unlike traditional economic development strategies, community wealth building puts residents and communities first, valuing equity, inclusion, and sustainability.
A community wealth fund can be distributed to local businesses like daycares, community centers, housing co-ops, will support economic development in historically Black and Brown neighborhoods, and will be governed by a people’s commission so that everyday citizens can decide how funding is allocated.
In 2010, Baltimore signed an agreement called the PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) with fifteen nonprofit property tax-exempt hospitals and universities in the city, allowing them to pay a sum of $6 million per year of the $110 million that they would otherwise owe in property taxes. The deal was renewed in 2016 and is set to expire in June 2026, giving Baltimore’s government the opportunity to reconsider this agreement.
We are calling for higher PILOT contributions from our wealthy tax-exempt universities and hospitals through a transparent community-led process. This contribution will fund community wealth building initiatives in Baltimore City that will redistribute wealth to communities of color that have been stripped from it.