Governor O’Malley “Balances” Budget on the Backs of Small Business and Middle Class

Annapolis – Governor O’Malley today introduced a budget that is precariously balanced on the backs of Maryland’s small businesses and middle class.  Amid fantastical claims of over $7 billion in cuts, this budget increases spending by more than $1 billion over FY 2012 – just as all of the O’Malley budgets have done over the last six years.

 The Governor’s budget proposal includes numerous tax increases including capping income tax deductions and phasing out personal exemptions for those making $100,000 per year or more.  The budget increases the tax on smokeless tobacco and requires the collection of sales tax on internet purchases.  In addition, it increases the burden on local and county governments potentially forcing a tax increase at that level as well.

 “The Governor’s budget redefines “wealth” in this state and takes aim at the middle class”, said House Minority Leader Anthony O’Donnell.  “Forget millionaires, this budget takes aim at thousandaires, phasing out income tax deductions such as mortgages and business expenses for those making even $100,000 per year!  The Governor is balancing the budget on the backs of the middle class and small businesses at a time when we should be looking for ways to make them thrive.”

 “For all of the Administration’s grandstanding about job creation, this budget takes aim at Maryland’s small businesses, the driving force behind our economy”, said House Minority Whip Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio.  “From taxing coin dealers to phasing out income tax deductions, the O’Malley budget will make it more expensive to do business in Maryland.”

 “What is most chilling about the Governor’s budget proposal is that even with all the tax hikes it includes, it is only a preview of things to come”, said “O’Donnell.  “It does not include the massive increase in the flush tax or the hike in the gas tax and other fees that will be a part of the transportation package.  Maryland’s families are struggling to make ends meet and deserve more than a pickpocket government.”

 

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House Republicans re-elect O’Donnell and Haddaway-Riccio by Unanimous Acclamation

Annapolis – The House Republican Caucus today re-elected Minority Leader Anthony O’Donnell and Minority Whip Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio by unanimous acclamation.

The leadership team was nominated by Delegate Nicholaus Kipke of Anne Arundel County.  Seconding the nominations were Delegate Donald Elliott of Carroll County and Delegate William Frank of Baltimore County.

“I am humbled by the overwhelming display of support our colleagues have show in our leadership team”, said Delegate O’Donnell.  “I have always said that our caucus represents some of the best and brightest members of the House of Delegates and I am honored to have their continued confidence.”

“Our successes last year were only a sample of what we can do when stand united”, said Delegate Haddaway-Riccio.  “Maryland’s citizens are under attack with calls for higher taxes, threats to their property rights, and challenges to our core family values.  Our caucus will work diligently to protect them from these threats.”

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Democrats head back to Annapolis with their eyes on your wallet!

The 430th Session of the Maryland General Assembly begins on Wednesday and the Democratic leadership is collectively salivating at the prospect of increasing your taxes claiming they have no other choice.

A 64% increase in the gas tax is one of the frequently-mentioned proposals and illustrates how completely disconnected the Governor and Democratic leaders are from the people they were elected to serve.  With, perhaps, the exception of Comptroller Franchot who has said the tax should not be increased, yet.  The Democratic leadership will tell you that this gas tax increase is desperately needed to fund transportation projects, ignoring the fact that the State Highway Administration was recently found to have hidden millions of dollars from the Board of Public Works while asking for millions in additional funding.  The Maryland Department of Transportation needs to get its fiscal house in order before asking for more of your hard-earned money.

Gas prices directly impact our day to day lives, even when we don’t drive.  Retailers and other businesses pay those higher gas prices and then pass those increased costs on to the consumer.  Then we pay more for groceries, clothing, and other goods.  People are already struggling to make ends meet, but for the Governor and the Democratic leadership the needs of Annapolis are more important.  If that were not the case then why would they push for a 64% increase in the gas tax in a year that is forecast to be the worst with gas prices reaching over $4 and possibly $5 per gallon.  Maryland’s average gas prices already increased by more than 10 cents in the first week of 2012 and yet they continue to press their case! 

But it is not just the gas tax that the Democrats want to increase.  There is much, much more.  Here are just a few of the tax increases recommended over the last few months:

• 300% increase in the Bay Restoration Fee 
• 100% increase in Emission Inspection Fees
• 50% increase in Vehicle Registration Fees
• 8% increase in the Vehicle Titling Tax

Keep in mind these proposals are on top of the toll increases that went into effect in 2011 – a 60% increase at the Bay Bridge alone which jumps another 50% in July of 2013 for a total increase of 140% by the end of the Governor’s term in office. 

Not only that, but these proposals would also be stacked on top of the tax and fee increases passed during the 2011 Session; the doubling the Vehicle Titling Tax, the Vanity Plate Fee, Land Recording fees, Birth Certificate fees; the 38% increase in the Nursing Home Tax; the 50% sales tax increase on alcohol.

Every dollar that is paid in higher taxes, tolls, and fees is a dollar taken out of our economy – citizens have less money to spend and businesses have less money to hire.  This seems to fly in the face of the Governor’s plans for job creation.

Get ready Maryland.  The Democrats are heading back to Annapolis and their eyes are on your wallet.  Can you afford to pay more?