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?