Democrat Brochin to stand with GOP on taxes

November 06, 2007|By Andrew A. Green

Democratic leaders in the General Assembly remain confident they will pass Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposed tax increases, but at least one member of their party says he will stand up with Republicans to stop them.

Sen. James Brochin, a conservative Democrat from Towson, said he will participate in any filibuster that Republicans attempt to derail the tax plan.

"I'm a Democrat because we stand up for working families and small businesses, and this isn't helping either," he said. "It's raising their taxes. When was the last time a state taxed its way to prosperity?"

O'Malley has proposed about $1.1 billion in tax increases to help eliminate a projected $1.7 billion budget deficit, plus some other increases to boost transportation funding.

Brochin, who has long had a rocky relationship with the Democratic leadership in Annapolis, said he would rather see the end of annual inflation adjustments to education spending, cuts in aid to local governments, elimination of state support for private colleges and other cuts.

Republicans hold 14 seats in the Senate but need 19 votes to maintain a filibuster.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said he isn't worried.

"You've got to have core values in this business, and I think it's certainly a major mistake on his part," said Miller, a Southern Maryland Democrat. "The tax increases are going to pass, so I assume it's mostly for show."

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