I drove through the night Sunday to return to Air National Guard training in Georgia, only to turn around and fly back to Maryland on Tuesday to vote NO on the budget.
Regardless of my efforts, it passed the Senate by a vote of 37-10. It’s now on its way to the Governor’s desk for his signature.
With all the talk of spending cuts and tough decisions, the budget still increases spending a good 10% more than last year.
Although this budget protects many special interests, it fails to protect one very important group…you, the taxpayers.
Instead of making necessary cuts, the General Assembly opted to raise fees and taxes instead. Plus, they added several new ones as well. Here is a list of what’s included, a mere preview of what’s to come.
- Vehicle Titling Tax doubled from $50-$100
- Vanity Plate Fee doubled from $25 – $50
- Land Recording Fees doubled from $20-
- Birth Certificate Fees doubled from $20-$40
- Increase in Hospital Assessments adding 2.5% to rates.
- Increasing Nursing Home Tax from 4.5% to 5.5%
- Parole Supervision Fee doubled from $25 to $50
- New: 2% Premium Tax on the Injured Worker Insurance Fund
- New: Payroll Garnishment Fee for State Employees
- New: Maryland Higher Education Commission Program approval fee
So the budget is balanced, but we’re still not accounting for the deficit. It’s almost like we’re practicing “credit card government.” We’ll just charge it and pay it later, right?
Whose money is it again? Right, it’s yours.
If you have any questions or comments on the budget, please email me directly.