Lawmakers propose bill that could result in largest tax hike in Maryland history
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – “I don’t know how much more our citizens in Maryland can take and it just scares me that there’s going to be no one left here to pay all these taxes,” said Delegate Wayne Hartman (R-District 38C).
As lawmakers continue to find ways to fund Kirwan, a bill that legislators say would pay for a little more than half of that $4 billion price tag is now being introduced in the General Assembly.
“What this does is it reduces the sales tax on the purchase of whatever but adds 5% to every service imaginable,” said Hartman.
Legislators say trash services, funeral services, oil changes and more all would have a 5% tax added to them if this bill passes. A tax hike that many say would hurt both businesses and residents in the state.
“Every time there’s a tax pass in regulation, minimum-wage, all these different things, people keep saying this could be the piece that moves businesses across the line, this could be the piece,” said Delegate Carl Anderton (R-District 38B).
That’s why some Eastern Shore lawmakers say other existing resources should be looked at instead of raising taxes.
“We could find ways within our existing budget if we were stringent in our spending in other areas. I don’t see the need for digging into people’s pockets any further,” said Anderton.
But other lawmakers say it’s time to look at alternative funding methods because the ideas they have right now just aren’t adding up.
“We have the casino funds and we have the lottery both of those together does not equate to the amount of money that we need to address the needs in the public education,” said Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes (D-District 37A).
The first hearing for HB1628 was held Monday in the Ways and Means Committee. Amendments are expected before the bill is reintroduced for a second hearing, and ultimately a vote to see if it will head to both the House and Senate floors.