By Pat Warren

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—The General Assembly is working its way to a new budget that will avoid deep spending cuts. The Senate approved an income tax hike Tuesday afternoon and the House is set to do the same.

Political reporter Pat Warren explains what this could mean for you at home.

Those in favor of raising taxes call it the civic duty of wealthier Marylanders to compensate for those who make less.

The Senate majority votes to raise tax rates, lower tax exemptions and eliminate exemptions altogether.

“We aren’t raising taxes to do something to people, but something for people who happen to be worse off than we are,” said Sen. Delores Kelley, D-Baltimore County.

It avoids $500 million in doomsday budget cuts.

“The question is who do you kick off the train? Nobody’s going to kick anybody off the train,” said Mike Miller, Senate President.

The increase affects single filers who earn $100,000 and joint filers who make $150,000.

“The majority party says $150,000 is rich. President Obama even doesn’t say that. He says $250,000. But here in Maryland, brother we’ve gone way, way below $250,000. We’ve gone into the working people,” said Sen. Barry Glassman, R-Harford County.

It’s a graduated increase that will have a bigger impact on residents in some parts of the state than others. High earners for example in Carroll, Harford, Cecil and Prince George’s counties are likely to pay $256 to $436 more.

Taxpayers affected by the hike in Frederick, Howard, and Anne Arundel counties and Baltimore City are likely to see increases between $437 and $704.

The highest increases are likely to affect residents in Baltimore County, Montgomery and Talbot counties, ranging from $705 to $955 more this year.

“Is it the right investment to tax these people to pay for these services, this education and other things? I believe it is,” said Sen. Paul Pinsky, D-Prince George’s County.

The budget is now in the hands of the House.

The increases will apply to the 2012 tax return.


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