BALTIMORE (WJZ) — If you think you’re paying too much in taxes now, things may be about to get worse. Two O’Malley-appointed commissions are recommending a list of tax increases ranging from gas to toilets.
Political reporter Pat Warren reports that’s not sitting too well with voters.
Just the mention of tax increases gets a voter’s blood up.
“I think that it’s wrong,” said one voter.
“It’s crazy,” said another.
They say there’s a limit to what people can pay and that there are other solutions.
“It’s bad enough as it is now,” said a voter.
“If they run the budget like my family does, like my friends do—cut the expenses,” said one.
Marylanders are already paying more in taxes but advisors to the governor say the state needs more.
Here’s the list: 15 cents a gallon more to gas your car, which will run $78 or more a year; a 50 percent bump in registration fees (from at least $128 to $182); a 100 percent increase in emissions inspections (doubles the cost from $14 to $28); a half-percent more for titling (from six to six and a half percent); MARC, Metro, buses and light rail fares (another $26 million in transit fares); septic system flush tax (up 300 percent from $30 to $90) and another 50 percent hike on smokers (from $2 to $3 a pack).
“That’s horrible,” said a voter.
SPG trend advisor Morris Segall advises lawmakers to take it slowly. Some of the hikes proposed would take place over three years.
“I think we have to balance the need of the state to raise revenue and be fiscally responsible and at the same time not necessarily send a shockwave through the population,” Segall said.
Given the economy, that would be quite a trick.
“I’m just a student and I work part-time and it’s harder when you don’t make that much money to pay more taxes,” said a voter.
“Especially with the state of the economy the way it is today, I definitely cannot afford any additional taxes,” said a voter.
The General Assembly may take that into consideration, but not everybody plans to wait around to find out.
“I’m working on [moving] right now,” said a voter. “Delaware, South Carolina, North Carolina—I am moving.”
Most of the revenue generated would be earmarked for transportation and sewage, with some calling for assurances that the state won’t take the money and use it to balance the budget, as it has in the past.
The cigarette tax increase is a separate proposal by the Maryland Health Care For All Coalition.