The Taxaholics in Annapolis have pulled it off again. They have voted to increase your taxes today despite protests by myself and other lawmakers who think Maryland should be living within its means and not spending its way to bankruptcy on the backs of working people. The income tax increases snatch an additional $200 million from the pockets of our citizens.
Emails I received from two constituents really hit the nail on the head. The first taxpayer pleads for taxes not to be raised:
“everyone is stressed out! Nobody has any disposable income to buy things… We are down to the basics. Everyone that I have encountered have continually high credit card bills …”
A business owner writes these cryptic words opposing taxes:
“The governor and legislators of Maryland should be ashamed for even considering such a horrible plan. It is difficult enough at this time to remain competitive in business with the high cost of living in this state. We are pricing ourselves right out of business!!!”
I believe the liberal leaders who forced these taxes through are out of touch with what is going on in the homes of most Marylanders. The Governor is especially clueless. Think about it. He hasn’t had to pay for a gallon of gas since he became Mayor of Baltimore. How could he have any understanding of families struggling with the rising costs of groceries, fuel and college bills? All of us have lost value in our homes and many faced layoffs or cuts in the past few years. I believe this is the worst possible time to raise taxes. Yet only 19 out of 47 of us in the Senate voted against higher income taxes. In the House of Delegates, 60 out of 141 voted no.
The argument used by Democrat Leadership for raising taxes is that it only affects a portion of Marylanders; those making over $100,000 a year or $150,000 jointly. But I say those are people who might own a small business and eventually hire people if they can expand and create jobs! A couple making $150,000 could be two teachers with children attending college. This is not about Warren Buffet folks…this is about the middle class.
The long term pain of this tax hike will be felt by all of us. It will give us an even worse reputation for being unfriendly to business. How is it that Virginia can find ways to balance its budget without increasing taxes and without alienating business? It can be done the way every family is doing it at their kitchen table when paying bills. Tighten the belt…don’t overspend…break the spending addiction!
Republicans offered many amendments that would have avoided tax increases and balanced the budget in this special session. But those plans were voted down. Meanwhile, the O’Malley Administration has continued to spend more and more. The budget just approved today is $938 million more than last year’s budget. As our structural deficit grows, do we want to end up like California where that state faces $15 billion in debt?
It’s important for voters to see the pattern of increasing taxes over the last five years by those who have a stranglehold on power in Annapolis. Here are just some of them:
- The sales tax was raised from 5 cents to 6 cents on the dollar in 2007
- The income tax on corporations went up from 1.25 percent to 8 percent in 2007
- Income tax rates were raised from 4.75 percent up to 5.5 percent in 2007
- A millionaire’s tax was put at 6.25 percent in 2008 for a two year period
- MVA titling taxes rose from $23 to $50 in 2007
- MVA titling taxes rose from $50 to $100 in 2011
- MVA sales taxes went from 5 percent to 6 percent in 2007
- Recordation and transfer taxes increased in 2007
- Amusement tax added to bingo games in 2007
- Doubling of the cigarette tax to $1 a pack in 2007
- Alcohol tax rose from 6 to 9 percent in 2011
- Tripled the MVA dealer processing fee from $100 to $300 in 2011
- Doubled vanity plates fee from $25 to $50 in 2011
- Raised hospital assessment rates in 2011
- Doubled the flush tax from $30 to $60 in 2012
- Doubled the birth certificate fees from $12 to $24 in 2011
- Increased tolls in 2011
How can Marylanders fight back? They can remember this at the polls on Election Day and toss the Taxaholics out!