House Republicans Present Plan for Maryland’s Fiscal Future

Annapolis, Md. – Today, House Republicans announced their alternative budget plan in response to the O’Malley/Brown Administration’s FY2015 budget proposal that raises overall spending by more than $2 billion over last year. This represents a cumulative spending increase of $10.6 billion since they took office in 2007.

2014 Budget Growth (2)“Despite more than 80 tax, fee and toll increases since 2007, the O’Malley/Brown Administration relies on broken promises and one-time fixes to balance the budget,” said Delegate Gail Bates (Howard). “This is poor management. We cannot steal from the pensions of our hardworking state employees or codify ‘one time fixes’ like hijacking county highway user revenues to fund more wasteful and mismanaged programs.”

“Continuing on this misguided path is irresponsible and ties our hands in the future,” said Delegate Andrew Serafini (Washington). “We will be forced to choose between two bad options: more taxes or deep cuts. What major programs will we have to cut or what taxes will we have to raise because we cannot exercise fiscal discipline today?”

The House Republican alternative budget proposal limits spending growth to just 1% over last year, restores the contribution to the state pension fund, and leaves a fund balance to cushion against possible revenue shortfalls later this year.

“We believe our budget proposal protects the promises made by our state,” said Delegate Tony McConkey (Anne Arundel). “The Republican budget plan fully funds pensions and reduces the fiscal cliff facing Maryland by responsibly restraining spending in next year’s budget.”

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

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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.