So, here is the proposed tech tax solution:
Gov. Martin O'Malley and top leaders in the General Assembly are lining up votes for a plan to replace Maryland's new computer services tax with an income tax surcharge on top earners and cuts to transportation and other spending.So, we are going to go ahead and try to further fleece those Maryland taxpayers who are simultaneously most able to pay more taxes and able to pick up and move someplace that their tax burden won't be so high? This is what passes for fiscal responsibility in the minds of Maryland Democrats?
The plan has the backing of Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and Sen. Ulysses Currie, the Prince George's County Democrat who chairs the powerful Budget and Taxation Committee....
....O'Malley, a Democrat, discussed ways to repeal the $200 million levy in a closed-door meeting with legislative leaders Tuesday night. The consensus that emerged was to try to raise $100 million by creating a new income tax bracket of 6.25 percent for people earning more than $1 million, according to those who attended the meeting.
An additional $50 million would come from the state's $400 million Transportation Trust Fund, and the rest from additional budget cuts.
What cracks me up even more is the fact that the 6.25 percent tax bracket will be a "temporary" tax bracket. Does anybody really believe that this crew in Annapolis would ever repeal this new bracket?
What's bizarre is the fact that the tax solution calling for a higher tax bracket is now being joined by $300 million in proposed cuts:
House and Senate leaders began this morning to hash out a deal over the fiscal 2009 budget that is expected to include more than $300 million in cuts, although negotiators largely put off until tomorrow discussions over the most contentious funding questions.So now we are going to cut more money from the budget than the tech tax would raise, but legislative leadership still wants to replace that money with more taxes? Is that logical?
"We're making good progress," said Sen. David R. Brinkley, the Senate minority leader from Carroll and Frederick counties, who is one of eight lawmakers on the budget conference committee. "It's a tough budget year, and there are a lot of hard decisions to make across the board."
So far, lawmakers and legislative staffers said, the differences between the spending plans are not as formidable as they have been in previous years. They predicted that much of the rancor over budgetary issues will come not from these negotiations, but from the question of how to make up for a repeal of the sales tax on computer services.
I hope that the taxpayers of Maryland are paying attention to this charade in Annapolis, because I hope that it is becoming clear to them that their elected leaders in Annapolis don't have the financial interests of the taxpayers first and foremost in their minds.....