6 2/3 cents of each tax dollar in 1940

Interesting examination of city spending

On April 1, 1940 the Baltimore Evening Sun published an interesting article in graph examining where a tax dollar goes in the City of Baltimore. The article is somewhat enlightening to simpler times.


For every dollar taken in by the city, 6.6 cents of that dollar went to the fire department to provide life-saving services for the City of Baltimore.

In comparison:

Police department got 10.6 cents out of every dollar to provide their important efforts.

Schools got 20.72 cents of every dollar

Street cleaning service was 3.24 cents out of every dollar

Public improvements accounted for 2.32 cents per dollar.

The City’s Administration and Judicial Branch was credited for 5.9 cents from every dollar.

None would not come close to the 30.9 cents from every dollar taken to pay the cities debt.

When you think back to the population size of the city and comparable fire service imprint within the city limits, it is quite amazing that such a premier service was available at such a bargain. This is a time when the city’s harbor was full of businesses and an extensive Fire Department Marine division just to provide the needs for the harbor. All city fire houses were open and staffed to meet the needs of the communities that were full of working-class, active citizens.

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