Luedtke’s Tax Bill Full of Special Interest Set-Asides
We know that House Majority Leader Eric Luedtke’s radical sales tax proposal will greatly expand the tax burden on Marylanders, particularly on middle and working-class Marylanders.
Here’s a look at just some of the eighty types of services that will be included in Luedtke’s tax proposal.
For all of the Democratic insistence that Luedtke’s tax bill, which will raise taxes on Marylanders by an average of $1,700 a year, is aimed at the upper class it sure looks like working Marylanders are going to be left holding the bag.
But fear not! Eric Luedtke has made sure that some groups and services are exempted from the tax!
Head to pages four and five of HB 1628 and take a look at the few things that Luedtke does not want to expand the sales tax to include:
(M) (1) “TAXABLE SERVICE” MEANS ANY ACTIVITY ENGAGED IN FOR A BUYER FOR CONSIDERATION.
(2) “TAXABLE SERVICE” DOES NOT INCLUDE:
(I) AN EDUCATIONAL SERVICE (NAICS SECTOR 61);
(II) A HEALTH CARE OR SOCIAL ASSISTANCE SERVICE (NAICS 28 SECTOR 62);
(III) A SERVICE PROVIDED BY A RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION (NAICS SECTOR 8131);
(IV) A GRANTMAKING OR GIVING SERVICE (NAICS SECTOR 4 8132);
(V) A SERVICE PROVIDED BY A SOCIAL ADVOCACY ORGANIZATION (NAICS SECTOR 8133);
(VI) A SERVICE PROVIDED BY A CIVIC OR SOCIAL ORGANIZATION (NAICS SECTOR 8134); OR
(VII) A SERVICE PROVIDED BY A BUSINESS, PROFESSIONAL, LABOR, OR POLITICAL ASSOCIATION (NAICS SECTOR 8139).
So Luetke wants to continue to exempt educational services, health care, social assistance, religious services, and grants. OK that’s well and good. But what about numbers V through VII in the exemptions?
I visited the NAICS website, which is the site for the National Association of Industrial Classification System, and here’s what those codes stand for:
8133: Social Advocacy Organizations (Human Rights Organizations; Environmental, Conservation, and Wildlife Organizations; Other Social Advocacy Organizations
8134: Civic and Social Organizations
8319: Business, Professional, Labor, Political and Similar Organizations (Business Associations; Professional Organizations; Labor Unions and Similar Labor Organizations; Political Organizations; Other Similar Organizations)
So Luedtke basically wants to exempt all of the special interest groups and political professionals who keep the Democratic Party afloat from paying the sales tax. But Luedtke also wants to expand the taxes that are used by pretty much every Marylander and will have a disproportionate financial impact on middle and working-class people.
It would be funny that Democrats, who often rail against “regressive” taxes, are now starting to fall in line behind a tax bill that expands a highly-regressive tax to more and more services that disproportionately hurt working Marylanders while simultaneously exempting their favorite interest groups that fund their campaigns. All while having the gall to call a bill that will increase their tax burden by nearly $1,700 a year as a “tax cut.”
While it’s not surprising that Eric Luedtke, who is basically the gofer for the Maryland State Education Association, would propose a draconian tax hike in order to fund the Kirwan Commission recommendations, it is surprising for him to show such a naked disdain for working people at the expense of Annapolis elites. Luedtke should explain to the people while he thinks that working Marylanders should pay hundreds more in taxes while Luedtke’s buddies in his favorite special interest groups get a tax break. It’s a question we deserve the answer to, but aren’t going to hold our breath waiting for.