Maryland House Approves Tax Hike in Budget Package - NBC4 Washington
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Maryland House Approves Tax Hike in Budget Package



    Maryland House Passes Budget With Income Tax Hike Included

    The Maryland House of Delegates has approved a budget package in a special session and the legislation is now headed to Gov. Martin O'Malley for his signature. News4's Chris Gordon reports. (Published Wednesday, May 16, 2012)

    Taxes will increase for some Maryland residents after the state's House of Delegates approved a budget package Wednesday in a special session.

    The House voted 77-60 to raise income taxes on single filers who make more than $100,000 and joint filers who make $150,000 in taxable income a year. That tax increase will affect roughly 300,000 taxpayers, according to the Baltimore Sun.

    "Eighty-seven percent of the people of Maryland will not see their income taxes increase,” Majority Leader Kumar Barve said. “People who make a quarter of a million dollars a year will have taxes go up about six-and-a-half dollars a week, hardly an onerous increase."

    "We shouldn't have to be here to raise taxes in the worst economy in 80 years," Minority Leader Anthony O’Donnell said.

    Delegate Tiffany Alston, D-Prince George’s County, broke with House Democrats and voted against the tax increase.

    "We have the highest foreclosure rate in the state,” she said. “We have a significant number of residents who are going to be affected by this tax increase. So it's a bad policy for our county and it's bad for the people of Maryland."

    The House also voted 86-51 for a separate bill to split teacher pension costs over four years and raise taxes on tobacco other than cigarettes.

    "Does anyone think the locals can handle a burden that was too big for the state of Maryland?" said Delegate Michael Smigiel, D-Elkton.

    The House votes end a special session that began Monday. The Senate has to receive the legislation, according to the Sun, but that is a procedural move, and then it will adjourn.

    Gov. Martin O'Malley called the special session to avoid about $500 million in budget cuts that were triggered by the General Assembly's failure to pass the budget package during the 90-day regular session last month.

    Republicans argued that they left in April with a balanced budget, but Democrats said that so-called "doomsday budget" required deep cuts in public school education and public safety services and would result in a large increase in tuition at state colleges and universities.