Tax Increases: Coming Soon to a Legislature Near You!

Maryland’s massive deficits and the complete lack of fiscal restraint and responsibility on the part of the O’Malley Administration has had Annapolis buzzing about the possibility of new tax increases.  While the Democrat leadership in the General Assembly has vowed there will be no new taxes passed in the “current economic climate” (translation: Election Year), everyone knows that they’re right around the corner. Just review the few tax bills that have been introduced this year can give a lot of insight into what is to come.  So, in honor of last night’s Oscars, here is a small taste of upcoming tax bills that can be seen in a legislature near you.

A psychological horror-thriller with a twist, Teacher and Employee Pension Sustainability and Solvency Trust Fund (House Bill 10) sounds innocent enough.  But just when you think it’s about responsible government (spoiler alert), it’s actually about the government raising income and corporate taxes in order to repay years of debt due to its own incompetency.

A fast-pace action thriller, Tax Compliance and Administration Act of 2010 (House Bill 244) will keep you on the edge of your seat.  However, with so many different characters—banks and real estate sales among them— and so many different subplots— increasing the cigarette tax and eliminating the vendor credit to name a few— this bill seems as if it’s designed to be too complicated to follow.  The price tag on this one is $344.5 million over 5 years.

An out-of-this-world science fiction with bundles of special effects, The Lorrain Sheehan Health and Community Services Act of 2010 (House Bill 832) will blow you away.  One of the biggest price increases ever, this bill increases the tax for liquor from $1.50 to $10.03 per gallon – a 569% increase, 40 cents to $2.96 per gallon of wine – a 640% increase, and for beer, 9 cents to $1.15 per gallon – a 1,178% increase.

A drama that’s sure to leave you with a trashcan full of wet tissues, Commercial Fertilizer— Surcharge (House Bill 621) has a strong cult following.  This bill creates a surcharge of 5 dollars per ton of commercial fertilizers used by farmers.
 
This session’s most hard-hitting (to your wallet) bill is Motor Fuel Tax—Increase (House Bill 479). After filling up the tank, it is a guarantee you will leave the gas station in stunned silence.  The bill will increase the tax on fuel by 10 cents per gallon by 2014.  People will go back again and again to see this one and it’s expected to generating $968.5 million over 5 years.
 

House Bill 1177 – Income Tax – Millionaires Tax – Sunset Repeal, has all the makings of a fascinating documentary on the migratory patterns of those who create economic opportunity.  This bill would make the Millionaires Tax permanent, but since a great deal of the folks this would impact have already left the state, there may not be many surprises.

While the Internet Movie Database would classify all of these tax bills as “In Production”, we saw in the 2007 Special Session how quickly they can become a reality – less than a year after an election.  Maryland’s taxpayers should have no doubt that the folks who brought them the biggest tax increase in Maryland’s history will have these and many more tax increases Coming Soon – To A Legislature Near You!

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