Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hosing those who can leave, and other fiscal silliness

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.

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.
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?

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.

"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.
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?

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.....

(Crossposted)

12 comments:

Daniel said...

Temporary tax bracket?

Temporary??????????

HA HA HA HA...........

I'll remember that tomorrow as I pass through the Harbor Tunnel on my weekly commute.

warpmine said...

There is one thing that I've learned growing up in Maryland and that is the tax payer base is feeble minded as those that propose the taxes to begin with. You here all the time how much animosity the public has for lawyers yet they continue to pull that lever all every time for those same lawyers that continue to fleece the people of Maryland.

I can personally testify to this as I questioned some good hearted people as to why they voted for Owe'Malley over Bob even though they thought Bob was doing a good job. Their answers ranged from they went with a ticket or they fell for the Owe'Malley perpetrated lies from the Baltimore Sun to which they all read religiously. Funny thing with all the tech that we have available, the Scum paper sill leads the way.
One friend is a Christian in everything she does but continues to vote for those that are anti- religious Marxists.

To those that can't and won't leave, their only stake in what happens is how tough the prosecution goes at their friends or just how much in handouts will be thrown their way to vote for anyone with the big "D" after the name.

justdafacts said...

Brian said,

"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?"

They're proposing to replace half the money with more taxes, but who's counting....or reading the excerpt they themselves post?

Next, do you sound off without following fiscal matters in this state, or are you just feigning ignorance and indignation for effect? The $300 million in spending reductions was in response to the Board of Revenue Estimates write-down of projected revenue in that amount earlier this month.

The actual mechanics of the budget process probably don't figure in the fiscal fantasy world of the right wing blogger, but thankfully the stewards whom Maryland voters have empowered continue in their fiscal prudence to preserve our coveted triple-A bond rating, among other benefits. - Steve Lebowitz

Mark Newgent said...

Steve,

That reminds me of your call to BAL yesterday. The insane man accuses the sane of being insane.

You are new definition of self-beclowning.

justdafacts said...

Do you have a more specific criticism, Mark? Do you dispute my information? Or are you no more than a polished version of a typical talk radio calling crazed O'Malley hater?

The facts Bruce & Blair could not dispute yesterday are that through this agreement Gov. O'Malley gained for the ratepayers:

A one-time credit of $170 in lieu of the $3/month credit, ending CEG's pending court challenge which threatened the continuation of the monthly credit;

and a $1.5 billion reduction in decommissioning costs that would have been added to ratepayers' monthly bills.

Bruce was stuck in a corner and needed an excuse to dump my call, so he ridiculed my comment that the Republicans went along with the 1999 deregulation. Here's from an Ehrlich press release:

""Delegate Schisler has been at the center of the debate over public utility regulation in Maryland for more than a decade, earning the respect and trust of his legislative colleagues," said Governor Ehrlich.

"Delegate Schisler has been at the center of the debate over public utility regulation in Maryland for more than a decade, earning the respect and trust of his legislative colleagues," said Governor Ehrlich.

"He served on the Task Force for Electric Utility Restructuring in 1998 and, in 1999, was instrumental in the subsequent utility restructuring legislation."

http://www.psc.state.md.us/psc/aboutus/Press/schislerNewChair.htm

Mark Newgent said...

Your rank O'Malley sycophancy pretty much devalues much of anything you have say. Frankly there's more truth to an old Walter Duranty dispatch than anything you post.

The credits O'Malley won is chump change--shinning shit and calling it gold--and there is no actual rate relief, which is what he campaigned on.

Furthermore, with his support of EmPower and the Global Warming Solutions Act, O'Malley is pushing policies that will RAISE electricity costs well beyond the meager return he got from Constellation.

Whine about Bruce all you want. The reason he dumped you was because the longer you stayed on the line more it insulted the intelligence of the audience.

justdafacts said...

If $1.5 billion in credits that Gov. Ehrlich had no inclination to pursue is chump change to you, then "Ti salute, Don Corleone."

On another matter, what may I conclude from your friend Mr. Griffiths' silence on my challenge to his post, which had nothing to do with energy policy?

Brian Griffiths said...

On another matter, what may I conclude from your friend Mr. Griffiths' silence on my challenge to his post, which had nothing to do with energy policy?

How about the fact that I have a job (I mean, in O'Malleyland I am one of the "rich" and all) and can't piddle away in front of the computer at all hours of day and night like you?

Of course what you fail to acknowledge is the fact that the proposed tax increase still more than cover the costs of the tax.

Even if what you did say was true regarding the revenue estimiates, it does not lessen the fact that the administration was horribly irresponsible for sponsoring such a profligate budget in the first place. Particularly when everybody, myself included, noted that revenue estimates were bound to be revised downward because of the national economy and the unintended consequences of these reckless tax hikes.

Steve, I suggest you think for yourself one of these days and don't just take the O'Malley talking points as the gospel.

Duke hoops fan said...

Brian -

I think the boat biz is in the crapper and it has made Steve testier than usual. Nice work.

Mark Newgent said...

Steve,

You also ducked the point--you know those things you routinely fail to make--that O'Malley's energy initiatives will RAISE electricity costs wiping out by orders of magnitude the paltry $170 credit.

Also your boy who campaigned on Ehrlich being too cozy with CEG is now stopping any investigation into CEG/BGE purchasing electricity nearly 20% above the wholesale price.

justdafacts said...

Brian said,

"Of course what you fail to acknowledge is the fact that the proposed tax increase still more than cover the costs of the tax."

I think you're trying to say the proposed income tax increase for those with AGIs over $1 million will more than cover the cost of repealing the computer services tax? Am I correct?

If so, you're wrong. The compu svcs tax is expected to yield a little over $200 m in FY09, whereas the hi earner income tax increase is expected to yield $100 m.

And neither the O'Malley admin nor the MD Dem Party provides talking points, whereas the MD GOP crams my inbox with missives--many of which have been followed by corrections or retractions within the hour of late.

justdafacts said...

Mark,

Again you focus on the one-time credit of $170 and ignore the $1.5 billion reduction in decommissioning costs that would have been added to ratepayers' monthly bills.

Conservatives have made clear their distaste for Gov. O'Malley's energy initiatives and disowned the 1999 deregulation, but what do you offer after 4 years of Gov. Ehrlich's neglect and session o naysaying?

Build more fossil fuel burning plants in Maryland? Fat chance.

You're assuming the investigation of BGE's wholesale auction practices will be halted under the agreement, but that has not been announced, and if the investigation is halted, we don't know what concessions, if any, BGE/CEG might have provided.

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