Money talks, and we know what walks

From the Baltimore Sun story entitled “Senators rebuff loophole closing.”

As the Maryland General Assembly considered closing a loophole to prevent corporations from entirely avoiding state taxes, Marriott International Inc. warned legislators yesterday that it might “adjust operations” if they alter the tax system.


“Combined reporting” measures were defeated in previous legislative sessions. O’Malley included the proposal in a package to close a projected $1.7 billion budget deficit during the current special session.

O’Malley also proposed raising the corporate income tax from 7 percent to 8 percent, and closing another loophole that allows many developers to avoid paying transfer and recordation taxes on the sale of property.

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More than 20 states have adopted combined reporting, as public outrage has grown over so-called “zero tax” corporations.

But the proposal was rejected yesterday by a Senate committee. While the special session is expected to last at least another week, during which the proposals could be revived, legislative leaders say that’s unlikely.

The Senate committee did approve the transfer tax and the corporate income tax increase.

The irony here abounds. A Democrat legislature, one that bills itself as looking out for the “little guy” (or is it “little people”? I keep forgetting which but it is one or the other, trust me.) signs on to the biggest program of regressive taxes to ever hit Maryland but refuses to close a tax loophole that reduces Marriott’s state tax liability to about zero.

Guess we didn’t contribute enough money to the right campaigns.

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