House Minority Leader Issues Statement on Revenue Write Downs

Annapolis, Md. – House Minority Leader Nic Kipke released the following statement in response to the $238 million in revenue write downs announced by the Board of Revenue Estimates:

“The announcement of a revenue shortfall of over $200 million is quite concerning. With a one billion dollar spending increase in the Governor’s budget proposal, we would hope the budget committees in the House and Senate would exercise true fiscal responsibility as they begin to make their budget decisions. Clearly, all is not well in Maryland’s fiscal house. With over 80 tax, toll, and fee increases since 2007, Maryland’s citizens have certainly done their part and more. It is time for their elected leaders to actually exhibit the fiscal restraint they give lip service to.”


House Republicans Push for Rain Tax Repeal

Annapolis, Md. – Today, House Republicans announced their plan to repeal Maryland’s Rain Tax. In the year since it was passed during the 2012 Legislative Session, the Stormwater Management – Watershed Protection Program, has proven to be nothing more than another excuse to tax Marylanders.

One Maryland“If you ask the citizens of our State if they support efforts to clean up the Bay, you will hear a resounding ‘yes’.  If you ask those same citizens if they support both a healthy environment and business climate, they will say ‘yes,’” said Delegate Cathy Vitale (Anne Arundel County). “These principals are not mutually exclusive.  However, the hasty manner in which the Rain Tax was passed failed to take into consideration the impact this legislation would have on industries that are now treated differently from county to county, and on ‘consumer purchasing’ from one to the other as only some businesses will have to build in these costs to their products and services.”

RainTaxMap“We’ve had more than a year to see how this policy would play out, and so far it has done nothing to improve the Chesapeake Bay,” said Delegate Wayne Norman, the bill’s lead sponsor. “Cleaning up the Bay is a regional issue and it is foolish to make ten counties in Maryland the primary focus of these efforts. We need to repeal the Rain Tax and find a new, equitable solution that will actually improve the health of the Bay.”

The Rain Tax is one of more than 80 tax, toll and fee increases levied on Maryland’s citizens by the O’Malley/Brown Administration.

House Republicans Champion “Tax Relief for Everyone”

Annapolis, Md. – Today, House Republicans announced The Income Tax Relief Act of 2014, or HB 326, that will cut Maryland’s income tax rate by ten percent over the next three years. This across-the-board cut will bring much-needed tax relief to all Marylanders regardless of their income or tax bracket.

Since 2007, the O’Malley/Brown Administration has raised taxes, tolls and fees nearly 80 times while increasing overall government spending by $9.6 billion (or 32%) over the same time period. This oppressive tax climate is hurting Maryland’s families and forcing many of them to leave the state.

“According to IRS data, Maryland has lost more than $7 billion in adjusted gross income (AGI) as our citizens have migrated away from the Free State to Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania and West Virginia,” said Delegate Andrew Serafini (Washington County), the bill’s lead sponsor. “Despite a common perception, it’s not just corporate executives or wealthy retirees with their big houses and private planes taking their money and fleeing the state. According to the IRS, the average annual income of the migrators is just over $50,000. They’re small business owners, working families, and young professionals that are no longer investing their time, talent, and dollars into our economy and communities.”

“Tax relief is a bi-partisan economic stimulus strategy,” said House Minority Leader Nicolaus Kipke. “Reagan, Kennedy, Clinton and even Obama, successfully used tax relief measures to stimulate economic growth. While it’s not all we should give back to taxpayers, it’s a responsible and realistic start, especially when Democratic Party leaders are considering increasing their own paychecks this year. It means a few more trips to the grocery store, paying a winter electric bill, going to a nicer restaurant for an anniversary dinner, and giving Marylanders a little breathing room.”

Click here for the official copy of the press release.

House Republicans to Offer Tax Relief for Everyone


Annapolis, Md. – House Republicans will hold a press conference to announce and discuss the provisions of HB 326, The Income Tax Relief Act of 2014. Maryland’s citizens have struggled over the last eight years; a sluggish economy, high unemployment, increasing prices – have forced them to do more with less. This legislation puts money back in the pockets of all Marylanders, providing tax relief for everyone.

The press conference will be held on Tuesday, February 18th at 12:30pm in Room 142 of the Lowe House Office Building.

42 House Republicans Honored with John Shaw Award by Maryland Business for Responsive Government

COLUMBIA, Md. – Maryland Business for Responsive Government (MBRG), a statewide nonpartisan organization, honored 42 House Republicans for their exemplary track record of supporting pro-business legislation in 2013. They received the prestigious John Shaw Award at a ceremony in Annapolis on February 5th.

Throughout the year, MBRG’s 20-member State Advisory Council selects recorded votes from the most recent General Assembly session that have practical or philosophical importance to the widest possible range of Maryland businesses, trade associations, and chambers of commerce.

MBRG identifies the selected bills in a publication, Roll Call, and analyzes the votes to produce a score for each legislator. For the 2013 analysis, Roll Call analyzed ten Senate votes and twelve House votes, including SB 683 (Labor and Employment – Maryland Wage and Hour Law – Payment of Wages) and HB 226 (Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013).

The award is named for John Shaw, an exemplary citizen and legislator who served his country more than 200 years ago when Annapolis was the nation’s capital. He is best known for creating a distinctive American flag with an eight-pointed star, which is the inspiration for the lapel pins awarded to the honorees.

The following House Republicans were honored with the John Shaw Award:

Kathryn L. Afzali 4A
Susan L. M. Aumann 42
Gail H. Bates 9A
Wendel R. Beitzel 1A
Joseph C. Boteler, III 8
John  W. E. Cluster, Jr. 8
Robert A. Costa 33B
Donald H. Dwyer, Jr. 30
Adelaide C. Eckardt 37B
Donald B. Elliott 4B
Mark N. Fisher 27B
William J. Frank 42
Ronald A. George 30
Glen Glass 34A
Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio 37B
Patrick N. Hogan 3A
Michael J. Hough 3B
Richard K. Impallaria 7
Jay A. Jacobs 36
A. Wade Kach 5B
Nicolaus R. Kipke 31
Susan W. Krebs 9B
Susan K. McComas 35B
Tony McConkey 33A
Michael A. McDermott 38B
Patrick L. McDonough 7
Herbert H. McMillan 30
Warren E. Miller 9A
LeRoy E. Myers, Jr. 1C
Wayne Norman, Jr. 35A
Anthony J. O’Donnell 29C
Charles J. Otto 38A
Neil C. Parrott 2B
Justin D. Ready 5A
Steven R. Schuh 31
Kelly M. Schulz 4A
Andrew A. Serafini 2A
Michael D. Smigiel, Sr. 36
Donna M. Stifler 35A
Nancy R. Stocksdale 5A
Kathy Szeliga 7
Cathleen M. Vitale 33A

Delegate Steve Arentz was appointed to his seat following the 2013 Legislative Session and did not have a voting record to review for this award cycle.