Md. Senate Panel Approves Tobacco & Cigar Tax Hike; Considering Expansion Of Sales Tax

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)– Get ready for some new taxes. Lawmakers are hard at work on the budget needed to raise or cut more than $1 billion.

Political reporter Pat Warren explains what they’ve done so far.

The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee has approved a tax increase on smokeless tobacco and cigars that was included in the governor’s budget proposal, and they’re just getting started.

The tax increase on tobacco products is considered by many as a matter of dollars and good sense.

“It’s going to save kids from cigar smoke and smokeless tobacco, and bring in between $20 and $30 million that could help fund healthcare and public health needs,” Vinny DeMarco, Healthcare For All.

Other proposals may not garner such public approval.

Getting down to brass tax, the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee is considering cuts and tax increases that are likely to affect all Marylanders in one way or another, with one budget full of cuts and one loaded with increases.

“Taxpayers should be totally confused,” Sen. David Brinkley, R-Frederick County, said. “Frequently, when you’re dealing with budgets, you’re dealing with double negatives and all that stuff. Everything they told you in English that you shouldn’t observe, it happens here.”

Taxpayers are also being more proactive with the possibility of losing tax deductions and the expansion of the sales tax to cover services still on the table.

“I think overall it would really decrease business because people are so price-sensitive that people would think second nature about going into our business or any other business if there’s a tax on that now,” Tony Maria Ayers, a business owner, said.

“Being in business and as an individual consumer, you start to see the effects of that immediately on your family,” business owner Marty Dustin said.

And the process is just beginning.

The committee has also approved a phasing-in of the transfer of the percentage of teacher pension costs to local governments.

Once the budget passes the Senate, it goes to the House of Delegates and the differences have to be worked out before the end of the session on April 19.

More from Pat Warren
  • peter o neil

    Do any on this panel ever have balanced their own checkbooks? What a bunch of phonies.

  • Agenda 21

    Sounds like its time for …………….., Press releases and denial.

  • Bob Higginbotham

    How can we have a balanced budget and an “on going” $1.1 billion deficit?

  • short stack

    first issue should be cut their slaries first

  • fogey0

    The idiot senator, Catherine Pugh has proposed a bill to expand collective bargaining rights to thousands of more state workers. That should really help reduce the deficit. If you think it cannot get any worse just keep voting these same morons in to office over and over again.


    how about cutting the free education and health care etc to all the illegal parasites.

  • David

    they just cant stop take take and take they all need to be fired. let keep the free ride going that what it all about. that why I moved from this state .

  • mr.right

    There must be something in the water, because every time these people (politicians) go to Annapolis or City Hall or even Washington DC for that matter they vote for things that are anti-thetical to the average hard-working citizen. They are always dictating all types of laws and taxes that hurt families and businesses.

  • mr.right

    I have also noticed that on certain hot button issues (gay marriage) WJZ does not allow traditional/conservative views to post their point of view. But instead allow the politically correct views to post freely almost giving the impression to the viewers that they represent the majority opinion, but stop or censor any opposing views to express their input or opposition on these news post.

  • Fed Up (D)

    These politicians must be boozers since they didn’t raise the tax on alcohol products. They will find anything to tax and make an excuse for doing it. My health is my concern so tax fast food, salt products, sugar products, wine, beer, syrup, babies, dogs, cats, air, etc. Liberal MD and its politicians are going to be the downfall of a once great State. So make sure to vote for anyone with a (D) behind their name.

  • Truth Wins out

    Here’s a novel idea: O’Malley wants to increase the tax base on “services.” Why don’t we start taxing legal fees and lawyers like they tax me on my burglar alarm monitoring service and others? Seriously. With the huge per capita number of lawyers in this state, we could balance the budget by taxation on all the charges for their “services.”

  • lucia huffman

    Please Gov. O.Malley has no idea how many people he is hurting by do this. He says he wants to balance the budget. But that is sucjh a farce. I already wrote him and told him that i will switch places for him for one day so he can see how people are struggling to get by with all these taxes he keeping implenting. But he has no idea how difficult it really is. I am just so astounded by what he is doing. Then all i seem to get back is a generated email which [ertains to nothing like what i said. Its all jibberish . I am getting a little fed up with all this. So that is why i am doing my best to make a difference for someone else.

  • Kenneth Pinkerton

    isnt it funny how the first thing they mention is it’ll save the kids like they actually care about anybody but themselves

  • camo

    ATTN. Vinny DeMarco guy, Could you please tell me what you do for fun or relaxation ?I would love to know so I could ask Marty OMalley to Tax THE SH_T OUT OF IT ! ! ! You supported the cigarette tax , the liquor tax, and now the cigar tax,” ALL FOR THE KIDS,” it’s always for the kids. The only “Kids” that smoke cigars are the ones using their outer wrapper to smoke their WEED out of !…IDIOT ! Just another MD.LIB. P.O.S. Their motto “We can save ( insert latest Liberal cause or” schools” or just say “Kids” here)with just a little more of your money “. But a little more is never enough We’ve been running a structural deficit since OweMalley has been in office.No cuts in spending but raises taxes and fees every year. Liberal @ssholes !

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