Matthews Opposes Tax

January 22, 1992

ANNAPOLIS — Del. Richard C. Matthews, R-Carroll, has said he will oppose Gov. William Donald Schaefer's "warmed-over version of last year's Linowes Plan" to make up for $1.2 billion in revenue shortfalls for the comingfiscal year.

The governor's plan would eliminate the shared alcohol tax, property tax grants and resident state trooper subsidies, Matthews said. Counties would be able to recoup the loss of state money by raising their piggyback taxes from 50 to 60 percent, with the first 5 percent going back to the county where the individual works.

"As for the proposal to keep the sales tax at 5 percent, but extend it to a variety of services . . . it doesn't make a big differencewhether you increase the sales tax or extend it to services and items which are now not subject to the tax, the people still pay more taxes," he said.

A proposal to raise corporate taxes will scare more business away than it will raise in taxes, Matthews said.

"This state must learn to live within its income," he said. "Raising taxes during a recession is the surest way to drive the recession even deeper. It will accelerate the vicious cycle, whereby people spend less andbusiness trims even more jobs."

HICKMAN TO MAKE CASE

DATELINE: ANNAPOLIS

Carroll State's Attorney Thomas E. Hickman is scheduled to meet with the county delegation here today to discuss his proposal to allow his office to appoint investigators and special assistants.

The investigators would have police powers, including the authority tocarry weapons, make arrests and serve court papers.

Revisions arenecessary in the law because state's attorney staff members conduct "police-type" investigative work, including carrying guns, that is not legally defined or covered by law, said Hickman.

Statutes also do not provide for appointing special assistants to aid in investigating or prosecuting cases, particularly when a conflict of interest exists, he said.

The delegation has rejected the request twice previously.

DIXON INTRODUCES BILLS

DATELINE: ANNAPOLIS

Del. Richard N. Dixon, D-Carroll, submitted several bills Monday to:

* Protect property owners from sinkhole damages -- the subsidence of land that occurs naturally or by the extraction of ground water -- that could be caused by nearby mining operations. The legislation would hold quarry companies liable for sinkhole damages within a state-determined "zone of influence." For several years, Wakefield Valley residents have supported the legislation, which has been strongly opposed by the miningindustry.

Dixon says he will soon introduce two other bills intended to protect residents from the impact of mining. Three mining companies have plans to expand or begin operations in west central Carroll.

* Reward safe drivers with years of clean records with "safe driving points." The points would offset penalty points assessed for speeding violations. The bill is aimed at reducing the number of traffic violations appealed to the courts.

* Award $500,000 through a state bond sale to Carroll County General Hospital for its expansion, renovation and equipment upgrade project.

* Provide a refund for property taxes paid from 1980 to 1988 by Union Street United Methodist Church in Westminster. Taxes were improperly assessed on church property during that period, Dixon said.

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