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NEWS
March 12, 2014
District 12 (Howard and Baltimore Counties) has three House of Delegate seats up for grabs. That's a healthy 2.1 percent of our state's total. Here are my sanguine impressions from a Democratic candidate forum held March 6. Nine of 10 candidates present agreed that the Cove Point pipeline should not be built, and similar concern was expressed about hydraulic fracking more generally. Adam Sachs boldly noted that jobs in this case might not be the highest priority. All candidates support a $10.10 minimum wage with COLAs.
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NEWS
March 4, 2014
Class, here's a pop quiz on Washington's view of economics. Who gave the following unsolicited endorsements of the Earned Income Tax Credit, the refundable federal tax credit for low and moderate income workers? The program gives "families flexibility - it helps them take ownership of their lives. " "A fairly efficient poverty abatement program. " "Promotes work as it reduces poverty. " If you said President Barack Obama, who on Tuesday proposed an expansion of the tax credit as part of his fiscal 2015 budget proposal - or even the usual suspects in the liberal, socialist, income-redistributing, Wall Street-bashing end of the political spectrum - that would be understandable, but it would also be quite wrong.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | February 26, 2014
Baltimore City plans to help corner stores in West Baltimore stock healthier fare, and get kids and their parents interested in buying it, as part of an effort to reduce childhood obesity. Though on the decline among young children nationally, obesity remains a major problem in U.S. cities such as Baltimore, where about a quarter of students are excessively overweight and potentially at risk for lifelong health problems. Officials at the Baltimore City Health Department have identified limited access to low-cost and appealing healthy food as a barrier to reducing obesity and have worked to reduce the number of "food deserts" in low-income neighborhoods through programs such as a virtual supermarket that allows participants in public housing and elsewhere to order healthy food online for delivery.
NEWS
February 20, 2014
A consensus is emerging among Maryland Republicans that a top priority for the state's economic development is to reduce the state's income tax rates or even to eliminate the tax entirely. They argue that Maryland's taxes have gone up far too much during the administration of Gov. Martin O'Malley and that the income tax in particular is driving people, businesses and jobs to other states. Unspoken in this line of reasoning is that the individual income tax is the most progressive levy we have and that eliminating it would disproportionately benefit the wealthy while diminishing the availability of services that the public broadly depends on. Republicans in the House of Delegates are backing a plan that would cut income tax rates by 10 percent over three years, and this week, Harford County Executive David Craig, a Republican candidate for governor, pitched a proposal to drop the top rate to 4.25 percent and increase the personal exemption from $3,200 to $5,000, as the first phase in an eventual elimination of the tax. (Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles Lollar has also called for the elimination of the income tax, but he has not yet provided the details.)
NEWS
By Michael Dresser | February 18, 2014
Republican gubernatorial candidate David R. Craig released a plan Tuesday would put Maryland on a "glide path" toward eliminating its state income tax while cutting total spending by a minimum of 3 percent a year. Craig, who has been Harford County executive for the past decade, said such a move would stimulate economic growth and halt a loss of population to states with lower taxes. "We must restore Maryland to the way it was and we need a governor who knows how to do it," he said.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | February 18, 2014
Republican David R. Craig said Tuesday that he would push to cut the state income tax rate for Maryland's wealthiest residents by more than 20 percent during his first year as governor. Craig, one of four GOP candidates running in June's primary, said his plan would put Maryland on a course to eliminate its income tax entirely during his second term while cutting spending by 3 percent a year. He said such a move would stimulate economic growth and halt a loss of population to states with lower taxes.
NEWS
February 13, 2014
At Stadium Place in Baltimore City, an affordable condominium project was reluctantly terminated because its target population of "empty nesters" could not afford the sharp increase in property taxes. The price was right. The plan was to apply a share of condominium proceeds to supportive services for the 300-plus low-to-moderate income elderly already residing in four apartment buildings on site, sponsored by GEDCO and Enterprise Homes. The concept was to retain down-sizing homeowners in Baltimore City and attract new families to purchase their homes.
NEWS
By Greg Kline | February 7, 2014
Recently, Republican candidate for governor Charles Lollar gave an interview to the Washington Post in which he touted his idea to eliminate Maryland's income tax. Mr. Lollar, however, has not issued a detailed plan explaining how he would offset the revenue generated by the state's income tax, which represents over half of all the general fund revenue taken by the state.  Mr. Lollar simply states that he " is confident that the loss in revenue can be offset by the economic impact of recruiting more businesses to the state.
SPORTS
By Pete Barrett and The Baltimore Sun | February 6, 2014
Rob Ambrose can only vaguely recall the day he signed up to play wide receiver for the Towson Tigers back in 1989. He actually laughs as he thinks about all the time that has passed since then.  “But what does stick out in my mind is that we had actually just transitioned to Division I,” said Ambrose, now the Tigers' coach. “I was excited about the opportunity to have a chance to make history. Getting in on the ground floor of something really, really great. And many, many moons later, I guess I'm thoroughly involved in that.” Coming off a season in which Towson reached the FCS championship game, the Tigers announced a 17-player recruiting class Wednesday that Ambrose believes was bolstered by the success of this fall.
NEWS
Editorial from The Aegis | February 4, 2014
Just when most of us are becoming accustomed to marking dated items with 2014, the year just ended will be in all-too-sharp focus for a day or two in the coming weeks for most people. It's tax season and that means it's time to start at least thinking about those 2013 tax forms. As usual, the deadline to file falls in mid-April, Tuesday, April 15. Starting about now as most people are receiving the W-2 forms that report annual income along with various other tax documents, the prospect of a day of navigating the twisted language of the instruction booklets looms large.
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