Reporting Pat Warren
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)– Maryland lawmakers take a giant leap toward cutting a billion-dollar deficit in half, but it’s going to cost you.
Political reporter Pat Warren explains the House of Delegates has approved its own version of a state spending plan.
The House passed a revenue package that includes an income tax hike, fee increases and a tobacco tax hike.
“There is no good news in this budget for the citizens of Maryland,” said Del. Michael Smigiel (R-Cecil County). “There is only pain and protracted debt.”
[worldnow id=6872198 width=385 height=288 type=video]
Critics say the General Assembly has fallen into a habit of taxing and spending that not even a recession can discourage it from following.
“Because you know what we’re doing? We’re kicking our citizens when they’re down,” House Minority Leader Anthony O’Donnell said.
But in closing the budget deficit, the majority Democrats in the House took a different view, considering that the greatest burden would fall on the affluent Marylanders who make a $100,000 or more.
The House rejected a Senate plan to tax online purchases and it has a different proposal for transferring teacher pensions to local jurisdictions. But all of this is subject to change when the two sides meet in the conference committee.
The two versions would have to be reconciled by April 2 which is the constitutional deadline for budget approval.