The levies are expected to generate $2.6-billion.
Annapolis, Md (KM) Services not taxed in Maryland would be taxed under a bill being considered by the 2020 General Assembly. The legislation was introduced to raise money to pay for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, a series of reforms recommended by the Kirwan Commission.
A bill in the House of Delegates sponsored by House Majority Leader Eric Luedtke (D-Montgomery County) would reduce the state’s sales tax from six-cents on the dollar to five-cents on the dollar. It would also tax services in the state which are not subject to taxes, such as dog walking, haircuts, trips to the hair styling salon and government contracts. Luedtke says it would raise $2.6-billion in revenue for the Blueprint.
“The net affect is that it’s a $2.6-billion tax increase which I believe would be the largest tax increase in our history,”: says Delegate Jesse Pippy (R-Frederick County).
He says many residents would feel the affects of an increase on services such as haircuts and visits to the salon, but the tax on government contracts would affect certain businesses in Maryland. . “We have a big Department of Defense contracting industry in Maryland. When you add 5% to some of those contracts and services, that’s a lot of money. And that makes quite a bit of impact on folks trying to conduct business in our state,” says Pippy.
He says he supports education in Maryland, but says there are other ways to support public schools than tax increases. “I voted last year for the Blueprint for Maryland because–and that was a massive spending increase–because it was paid for. There were no increased taxes along with it. And I was happy to support education and happy to support teachers here in our state,” Delegate Pippy says. “But when you’re talking about increasing taxes up to $2.6-billion, the majority of Marylanders don’t want that.”
But Pippy says legislators will be looking at ways to pay for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future through other means besides taxes. “I think a compromise would be to find a way to increase spending without increased taxes,” he says.”We have a wealthy state. We have a tremendous amount of revenue coming in. I don’t think we need to raise taxes.”
The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future calls for boosting teacher pay, expanding vocational education and funding more services for children from poorer communities.
By Kevin McManus