Evidently a spending increase just shy of $1 billion is not enough for Governor Martin O’Malley and the Democrat leadership in Maryland’s General Assembly.  Today, May 14, lawmakers will return to Annapolis to pass the Governor’s tax hike proposal, allowing Gov. O’Malley to increase spending by over $1 billion from last year’s budget.  

Under Gov. O’Malley’s proposal, about one in five Marylanders will see their taxes rise.  WBAL is reporting that the proposal will set new income tax rates on Marylanders making over $100,000 a year. However, there is a potential House-Senate compromise that could lower the threshold to just $75,000 a year.  

Maryland taxpayers, small businesses, and consumers should also be wary of the possibility of a 70-percent tax increase on smokeless tobacco and cigars. These hikes will hurt consumers and employers; driving jobs and small businesses from the Chesapeake Bay State.

When Governor O’Malley signed a new millionaires’ tax into law in 2008, Maryland’s millionaires fled the state – tax returns indicate that one-third of those making over a million dollars left Maryland between 2008 and 2009. Following the millionaire’s tax catastrophe, O’Malley promised to end the state’s $1 billion structural deficit through spending cuts alone, yet he’s back at the tax hiking game.  

Maryland’s budget is a mess. Spending has grown by $1 billion or more each year that Governor O’Malley has been in office.  If the state had capped spending to the rate of inflation and population growth between the years 1999 and 2009, the state would have spent $34.2 billion less, more than enough to wipe out the structural deficit and cut the state’s burdensome tax regime.   Instead, Governor O’Malley hiked taxes by more than $1 billion in 2007, instituted the millionaires’ tax in 2008, and now wants to raise taxes again by over $300 million.  It is self-evident; Maryland has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. 

Eileen Norcross of George Mason University’s Mercatus Center has released an excellent report, “The Appearance of Fiscal Prudence,” explaining how Maryland’s budget process has only exacerbated out of control spending.  The Spending Affordability Committee, a special committee within Maryland’s General Assembly, draws up the budget each year.  The committee’s rules have been cast aside, causing what was supposed to be guidelines instituting a spending cap to now be considered the state’s spending target. 

Additionally, Governor O’Malley has claimed that this budgeting process has created $7.5 billion in spending cuts, but that is just not true.  Again, each year that Governor O’Malley has been in office, the budget has ballooned by $1 billion or more.  A study released by the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers shows that Maryland has the highest general fund budget growth among the Mid-Atlantic region, and it ranks 7th overall nationally. 

Americans for Tax Reform encourages Maryland residents and taxpayers to contact their state lawmakers and Governor O’Malley and voice their opposition to ALL the new proposed tax increases.  You can find your legislator here.