Americans for Tax Reform has sent a letter to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan asking him to veto Senate Bill 190. This legislation would disparately impact the Maryland travel industry by apply the Maryland sales tax to online travel agents, brick and mortar travel agents, wedding planners, tour operators, and other service providers. With summer almost here, and tourism season gearing up, a new tax would hurt many small businesses in Maryland who rely on tourism for revenue.
We urge Maryland residents to contact Gov. Hogan and ask him to veto SB 190. You can reach his office by phone by calling 410-974-3901 or toll-free at 1-800-811-8336. You can also email the governor’s office by clicking here.
Below is the full letter ATR sent to Gov. Hogan:
Dear Governor Hogan,
I write to you today to encourage you to veto Senate Bill 190. This piece of legislation would harm Maryland businesses and deter tourists from choosing Maryland as a travel destination. The legislation would enact a new travel tax on consumers who use online travel services, brick and mortar travel agencies, and tour operators, wedding planners, and other Maryland service providers.
A tax increase on these small businesses will ultimately impact consumers and other businesses who rely on a vibrant tourism economy: restaurants, taxis, attractions, retail shops, entertainment venues, etc. It is also important to consider that these small businesses already pay a federal and state income tax.
As House of Delegates Minority Leader Nick Kipke has pointed out: “There are special interests that are pushing this bill and frankly we need to look out for the special interests of the real Marylanders that show up to work every day, and have to balance a payroll, and they employ people right in our communities. So, I'm encouraging the members of the House of Delegates to resist any new taxes or fees. It's time Maryland has an opportunity to thrive.”
Delegate Chris Adams has said, regarding SB 190: “We have over 1,100 brick and mortar small travel business agents that are going to be affected by this bill… We’ve had 8,000 small businesses leave Maryland over the last 8 years because of policies just like this.”
The Commonwealth of Virginia has already rejected a similar measure this legislative session.
To put it plainly, SB 190 is a continuation of the crony-tax policies of the O’Malley-Brown administration – policies that Maryland voters rejected last November when you defeated Lt. Gov. Brown.
Gov. Hogan, stand up for Maryland’s small businesses and reject this crony tax hike.
If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to Will Upton, state affairs manager at Americans for Tax Reform. He can be reached at (202) 785-0266 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grover G. Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform