Here Comes the Pain

Martin O’Malley is telling pretty much anybody who will listen that he is not going to raise taxes. Well of course he’s saying that now. It is very easy to deflect the tax issue before the election. Especially when the Maryland Business Tax Reform Commission has barely met since O’Malley created it during his term. Which of course makes the following announcement a little curious:

The Maryland Business Tax Reform Commission yesterday announced that it will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, November 9th at 6:30 p.m. in Annapolis (location TBA) to take public testimony on the options it is considering for changing (increasing) business taxes in Maryland. Attached is a full list of the issues they are considering, which include:

Combined reporting for corporate income taxes

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Other corporate income tax changes such as tax rates and single sales factor apportionment

Alternatives to the corporate income tax, including alternative minimum tax, gross receipts tax, and value added tax

Broadening the sales tax base

Requiring additional information from businesses receiving tax incentives

The Business Tax Reform Commission has been meeting for two years on these issues, and we are now at the end game. Note that all substantive decisions and votes will be made after the election. Here is their remaining schedule:

November 9th – Public Hearing

November 16th – Voting Session

December 7th – Review Draft Report

December 13th – Approve Final Report

See the Commission’s website for background info.

Isn’t it amazing that O’Malley Tax Commission meets infrequently prior the election, and then has a number of rapid fire meetings immediately after the election so that the commission can recommend a series of tax increases to O’Malley and to legislative leadership. Would somebody be so cynical as to say that O’Malley and Company planned for the Commission to meet this way so that O’Malley could cynically say that he had “no plans” to raise taxes, and then immediately adopt the Commission’s proposals for higher taxes? Wouldn’t that just be nutty?

Of course, it probably isn’t that far from the truth when even the Commission’s message notes that “all substantive decisions and votes will be made after the election.” Why else would the Commission go out of its way to point that out if the Commission was predetermined to recommend higher taxes in the same manner that O’Malley’s Death Penalty commission had a predestined outcome.

Don ‘t believe me? Take a look at this document under consideration by the Commission:
BTRC Issues

All of this of course makes you wonder this: what is the Commission going to propose that they can’t talk about right now?

The moral of the story is this. If re-elected, Martin O’Malley is going to raise your taxes. The machinery has already been put into place. The plan is already in motion. It will happen. Sadly, Martin O’Malley just does not have the political courage to tell the voters the truth….

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