Taxes and Slots Pass Senate Budget and Taxation Committee
The income tax, sales tax increase and expansion, cigarette tax, electricity tax, vehicle titling tax, and slots all passed the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. So far O’Malley is getting what he wants albeit with some tweaking.
According to WBAL, the bill would increase income tax rates from 4.75 percent to 5 percent. The rate for those earning more than $500-thousand would go up to 6 percent. Democrats changed O’Malley’s original proposal after complaints from Montgomery County officials. Apparently belief in progressive taxation, for MoCo pols stops at the waters edge of their bank accounts.
The committee passed a 20% increase in the sales tax. Property management and health clubs were excluded from the extension but computer repair, landscaping and video arcades were included. Video arcades? The plan would generate $300 million, $240 million more than O’Malley’s original plan.
The slots referendum passed but with the committee voting to give slots parlor owners 33% of the proceeds compared to 30% under O’Malley’s plan.
Three Republicans, George Edwards, Lowell Stoltzfus, and Donald Munson voted for the electricity tax increase.
The cigarette tax and vehicle titling tax were approved.
The committee gave the green light to $500 million in spending cuts including leaving 1,000 state jobs unfilled until June 2009.
O’Malley Watch has the legislative score card detailing the votes of each committee member on each tax increase and slots.
It appears that James Robey’s (D-Howard County) office is treating callers to his office rather rudely, telling them their votes do not matter. He voted yes on all the taxes today. This is reminiscent of Brian Frosh during the Jessica’s Law hearings last year.
These are just committee votes so nothing is a done deal… yet. We can still pressure senate Democrats. Jim Brochin has already shown us that he has “core values” and is on record in his opposition to tax increases. Three senators George Della, Norman Stone, and Roy Dyson all pledged to not increase taxes, keep up the pressure on all three.