Tax expert warns over ‘ripple effects’ of Baltimore bridge collapse: Economic damage ‘hard to comprehend’

A ship strike caused the Francis Scott Key Bridge to collapse into the Patapsco River on Tuesday

Baltimore bridge
Source: Fox Business

Tax expert says economic damage from Baltimore bridge collapse is ‘hard to comprehend’

The impact of the Francis Scott Key Bridge disaster in Baltimore is “hard to comprehend” when it comes to the local economy and governments, according to tax revenue expert and CEO Niko Spyridonos.

Autoagent.com CEO Niko Spyridonos, who works with municipal and county governments to streamline their tax revenue collection, told Fox News Digital on Thursday that the shipping accident will cause economic “ripple effects” that will harm thousands of business owners, affect the local government’s ability to function, and be felt in the rest of the country.

America’s seaports are a major driver of the U.S. economy. The port of Baltimore alone is the busiest in the U.S. for car shipments, handling more than 750,000 vehicles in 2023, according to data from the Maryland Port Administration. It is also the largest U.S. port by volume for handling farm and construction machinery, as well as agricultural products.

BALTIMORE BRIDGE COLLAPSES INTO HARBOR AFTER SHIP STRIKE, CAUSING MASS CASUALTY EVENT

Autoagent.com CEO Niko Spyridonos talks about the economic damage to Baltimore caused by the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse.

The Autoagent.com CEO described how bad it is that one of the largest U.S. seaports came to a screeching halt following the bridge collapse.

“It’s hard to comprehend how this will impact things, not only for the city, but the state and the East of the United States, but possibly the rest of the country,” he stressed.

When asked to scale the seriousness of the accident in terms of cost, he replied, “I think it’s quite high up there.”

“That bridge completely cuts off all five terminals of the Port of Baltimore, and the Port of Baltimore being one of the largest in the country, the logistics of exports and imports coming into Baltimore or exports leaving Baltimore for the rest of the world, it’s going to be quite, quite difficult to replace,” he explained.

Where the tax revenue expert is particularly focused is how this disaster affects revenue going to Baltimore’s government and the surrounding county.

According to Spyridonos, Autoagent.com streamlines roughly around $1 billion in property tax revenues each year. After speaking with Maryland customers, the CEO is worried about how this will impact the “summer collection.”

“Property taxes, they fund all the local agencies, municipalities, city services, essential services, police departments, school districts,” he said, noting how in the state of Maryland, taxes are collected twice a year.

ECONOMIC IMPACT FROM BALTIMORE BRIDGE COLLAPSE WILL BE LONG-LASTING, TRADE GROUP WARNS 

Baltimore Harbor MV Dali Francis Scott Key Bridge

The remains of the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26, 2024, in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Michael A. McCoy for The Washington Post via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Spyridonos pointed out how during other disasters, like COVID-19, the government took measures to push “tax collections even a few weeks or a month or two back.”

The CEO noted how the government could also try providing tax discounts or exemptions to the affected area, but ultimately stressed that this incident is going to be hard on many people.

“A big port like that affects a big area of the local community and the rest of the state. It’s almost like the city of Baltimore is wrapped around the port and its activities. Right? So, it’s easy to understand that this will definitely be affecting many, many layers of, not only the local community, but also the government – the local governments.”

Francesco Bianchi, a professor of economics and department chair at Johns Hopkins University agreed, telling FOX Business on Thursday that “the impact for the Baltimore economy is likely to be substantial.”

“Baltimore is an important harbor and its inability to operate normally will push the overall supply chain a step closer to capacity, at a moment in which geopolitical risk already creates issues,” he added.

FreedomWorks Senior Economic Contributor Steve Moore also told FOX Business that the economic effects may be felt by the average American consumer.

“People will feel a pinch in terms of their grocery bills, in their gas prices and things of that nature as a result of this bridge collapse,” he said. “The longer it goes on, the longer it takes to rebuild it, the worse the impact will be.”

Fox Business’ Greg Norman, Daniella Genovese and Chris Pandolfo contributed to this report. 

Source: foxbusiness.com

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About Stu Turley 3568 Articles
Stuart Turley is President and CEO of Sandstone Group, a top energy data, and finance consultancy working with companies all throughout the energy value chain. Sandstone helps both small and large-cap energy companies to develop customized applications and manage data workflows/integration throughout the entire business. With experience implementing enterprise networks, supercomputers, and cellular tower solutions, Sandstone has become a trusted source and advisor.   He is also the Executive Publisher of www.energynewsbeat.com, the best source for 24/7 energy news coverage, and is the Co-Host of the energy news video and Podcast Energy News Beat. Energy should be used to elevate humanity out of poverty. Let's use all forms of energy with the least impact on the environment while being sustainable without printing money. Stu is also a co-host on the 3 Podcasters Walk into A Bar podcast with David Blackmon, and Rey Trevino. Stuart is guided by over 30 years of business management experience, having successfully built and help sell multiple small and medium businesses while consulting for numerous Fortune 500 companies. He holds a B.A in Business Administration from Oklahoma State and an MBA from Oklahoma City University.