Maryland: Gas Tax, Flush Tax, Now a Higher Sales Tax?


Posted by Rudy Takala on Thursday, January 12th, 2012, 3:15 PM PERMALINK

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has proposed a one-cent increase in the state’s sales tax in order to close the $1.1 billion deficit facing the state along with a bevy of other tax increases.  He signed legislation in 2008 increasing the state’s sales tax to six percent; his latest proposal would increase the tax to seven percent.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller (D-Calvert) has said he is not in favor of increasing the sales tax. Instead, he said he favors  increasing the state’s gas tax by 5 to 15 cents per gallon. (At 25 years as president of the Maryland Senate, President Miller may have  led the charge on more tax increases than any other legislator in Maryland history.)

Not to be outdone by Senator Miller nixing a 1-percent sales tax increase in favor of a 5-cent gas tax increase, Governor O’Malley demanded that the state double its $30 “flush tax” on septic systems. "If we continue to pave over the land, by slapping up giant septic housing developments, we're going to undermine progress” Maryland has made in fighting other sources of pollution, O’Malley said, such as cow manure runoff.

Adding to the debate’s chorus of sober voices, Sue Esty of ASCME chimed in with her opinion on closing the budget shortfall: "Tax the millionaires and tax the corporations that aren't paying one penny in taxes.”

The creativity displayed by Maryland Democrats in coming up with new ways to hike taxes is almost as impressive as their creativity in coming up with new ways to spend money they don’t have.

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