A Baltimore delegate plans to introduce a bill in the General Assembly as early as this week to overhaul the state taxation system and raise $800 million in new taxes.
Del. Clarence Davis, D-City, said his bill will incorporate all the recommendations of a gubernatorial commission on state taxes chaired by R. Robert Linowes.
The Linowes Commission recommended increasing income taxes on the wealthy and reducing the state's reliance on property taxes, which have drawn fire because they are not based on a homeowner's income. In addition, it recommended raising the state sales tax from 5 percent to 5 1/2 percent and expanding it to apply to an array of services. The commission also called for a new 2 percent levy on cars and boats.
The Maryland Chamber of Commerce announced yesterday it opposes imposition of personal property taxes on cars and boats, along with higher sales taxes and corporate income taxes. The chamber expressed qualified support for changing the state's income taxes.
Although Gov. William Donald Schaefer supports the Linowes recommendations, many legislators have vowed to vote against new taxes this year.
TO REMOVE PRIVILEGE
A bill that would require Maryland to suspend the driver's licenses of all convicted drug offenders is before the General Assembly again, making a comeback after its defeat last year.
Sen. Leo D. Green, D-Prince George's, said he introduced the bill in order to bring Maryland in compliance with federal law.
The little-noticed federal law was passed last fall and signed by President Bush. It would penalize states that do not pull licenses of convicted drug offenders by cutting 5 percent of their federal PTC highway funds beginning Oct. 1, 1993. The penalty rises to 10 percent on Oct. 1, 1995.
Last year's bill was introduced by the governor, but the Maryland legislature rebuffed him then and in 1989.
ETHICS IN ZONING?
Two new delegates plan to introduce ethics legislation designed to keep zoning decisions in Howard and Prince George's counties from being influenced by political contributions.
The bill would prohibit elected officials in those counties from participating in land-use or zoning decisions if they received a campaign contribution during the previous three years from someone who owns or has an interest in the affected property.