Slots, and Taxes, and Appointments
The tangled web of slots and taxes passing the General Assembly in 2008 is almost certainly going to have to come to a head soon. Let’s face it, the O’Malley Administration is not particularly keen on further reducing spending, as we have seen by their parsimonious budget cutting in order to save “needed” programs.
And everybody also knows that Mike Miller is not going to allow a tax increase without the passage of a slots bill. Miller has too much riding on the passage of a slots bill to cave.
And everybody knows that Mike Busch is fundamentally opposed to slots, but does support tax increases.
Somebody is going to have to give at some point. Either Busch and O’Malley allow slots to pass with taxes, or Miller allows taxes to pass without slots. And scenario one is much, much more likely than scenario two.
The only way that Miller can be forced to accept taxes without slots currently revolves around the soon to be vacant Senate seat in District 39. Republican-turned-Democratic Senator P.J. Hogan is leaving the Senate to work for the University System of Maryland. Hogan was a major Miller supporter and a supporter of slots. Potential replacements, mainly the District’s three Delegates (Charles Barkley, Nancy King and S. Saqib Ali) and a former Delegate (Gene Counihan) are either not as supportive or outright hostile towards slots. That makes Miller’s position all that much more tenable.
With the drumbeat for a “tax code overhaul” once again firing up, the taxpayers of Maryland could be in deep deep trouble.