By Pat Warren

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Some eye-opening news out of Annapolis as lawmakers look for ways to balance the budget.

Political reporter Pat Warren has more on a doomsday budget that would change the way the state does business.

It is doomsday. The budget is balanced by nearly $800 million in cuts. Local school districts lose $205 million. Other local aid would be slashed by $102.7 million. Higher education loses more than $185 million. Health services, including Medicaid, are reduced by $122 million and state agencies see about $129 million disappear, taking cost of living raises, 500 jobs and some services with it.

“Hopefully we can avoid that and the only way you’re going to avoid that is with revenues, so it’s going to involve cuts, as well as revenues,” said Senate President Mike Miller.

So one hand is on the chopping block and the other is in your pocket. A House bill would expand the state sales tax to services.

“In a couple weeks, I have a hair appointment. My hair is going to be taxed,” said Anna Myers.

Anna Myers joined a hearing room packed with Marylanders protesting the tax on services, with auto service shops leading the charge. Mid-Atlantic AAA speaks for thousands of drivers who can’t afford the cost.

“Not just maintaining their cars but insuring their cars. This is outrageous. That’s the last thing we need right now,” said Lon Anderson, AAA.

Jennifer Wise is worried about her consulting business.

“In the past, I’ve kinda just sat by and let the Maryland Chamber speak for me but this is so critical for me because our business is finally growing again,” she said.

And it’s from the standpoint of what taxpayers can afford that some lawmakers think an all-cuts budget is the way to go.

“I think that’s where the citizens of Maryland want to go. Whether that’s popular with various legislators, we’re going to see,” said Senator E.J. Pipkin.

Several other tax bills are also being considered, including a personal income tax hike.

Comments (9)
  1. Sheeple says:

    The report says “1.1 billion dollar hole in the budget.” What do you think the real number is ? Most of the citizens of Maryland have been dealing with their own “Doomsday” budget for years. Do the caretakers of the peoples money equate cutting back spending “Doomsday?” What if two “Doomsday” events happen at the same time? Or three ?

  2. LESS Spending and LESS Taxing says:

    I have a simple solution. Get rid of public housing and tighten the restrictions on Governement Assistance programs. Require financial investigations and drug testing for those on GA programs. If they can afford the drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes they do not nees Government Assistance.

  3. frank coffee says:

    Why would the lawmakers need analysts ? All they have to do is read what they voted to spend on,and how much they spent that we didn’t have. Time to cut 10% across the board,no new hirings,no new taxes. Then learn to do less with less. And if I hear one more time that “We will have to cut the fire and police,And what about the children “, I think I’ll throw up ! These are just scare tatics politicians use,”Like too big to fail,WMD’s,tax our way out,spend our way out,etc.and so on.”

  4. MD VOTER says:

    GCEI what on earth is this? $129m plus 500 people to run it, give me a break. Elimnate it, cut all unnecessary projects, cut Section 8, enforce the law on illegals, drug test anyone on welfare, repeal Obamacare, cut state salaries (of course not the commom working stiff, only the higher paid), stop spending, create similiar jobs like they had during the depression (no one to get free money), vote everyone in office now….out, etc.

  5. MarkMWhite says:

    Healthcare is not subject to normal market forces! Anything that you have to buy at any random moment in order not to die is not something to which a rational supply/demand calculus can apply. Check out “Penny Health” articles on how to reduce the cost of insurance.

  6. Debbie says:

    Make the cuts, cut the waste, have more oversight of the programs and STOP STOP STOP the ever increasing taxing.

  7. J. Pearson [Mrs.] says:

    As we the people,on disability/fixed/low incomes,who voted for you, are surviving on a budget, so should the government. I would love to have a cost of living increase on time, not 3-4 years later.Yet, you find money to give yourselves raises?!…I am just sick and tired of all the PBS!! {Political B_ll S__t}

  8. Peter Hens says:

    No more taxes or fees
    hey Politicians: cut YOUR pay, cut YOUR benefits, cut YOUR pension (that you get after 4 years (disgusting))
    then after that – cut special programs. cut everything except services to those of us who actually pay taxes.
    It’s called common sense.

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