Another Trial Balloon Floated

Governor O’Malley is lofting another trial balloon. An inflation indexed gas tax.

For politicians this has a big advantage. They can suck up the one-time pain of passing the tax and then reap the benefit as the tax escalates annually based on “future increases to the rising cost of road and bridge construction materials.”

What is going unnoticed in this bacchanalia of pick pocketing by the O’Malley administration is that his tax increases are aimed squarely at those who are least able to afford the burden.

A renter, for instance, will not get the benefit of the decrease in the state property tax rate. Neither, in any real sense, will the landlord. On the other hand state sales tax will be applied to real estate services which means the costs associated with property management will increase and will be passed along to tenants as rate hikes. The increase in the titling cost for cars and increased size and scope of the sales tax increase will be borne disporportionately by low and middle income Marylanders. The increase in the corporate tax rate will be passed along as increased prices and will primarily effect small businesses organized as LLCs or S-Corps.

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It is hard to take a man very seriously when the state is bleeding cash to the tune of $1.5 billion and who turns right around a floats the notion of a $400 million spending increase on transportation.

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