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NEWS
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | June 11, 2012
An increase to Baltimore's bottle tax - the linchpin of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's plan to raise funds to renovate the city's decrepit school buildings - received preliminary approval from the City Council Monday, likely assuring the measure will become law. The legislation would raise the tax on bottled beverages from 2 cents to 5 cents in July 2013. Supporters hailed the tax increase as a key step toward the biggest overhaul of city schools in decades. "We'll never catch up with generations of neglect of our schools buildings until we jump-start with a plan like the one before us today," said Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke as she cast her vote for the measure.
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NEWS
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | June 9, 2012
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's proposed increase to the city's tax on bottle beverages is expected to move forward Monday after being corked up for months by a City Council committee. Council members, led by Council Vice President Edward Reisinger, plan to resort to a rarely employed legislative maneuver to bypass the committee and hold a vote on the measure, which is the centerpiece of the mayor's school construction funding package. "There's nothing in the city that's more important than our young people," said Councilman Brandon Scott, who intends to vote for the tax. "I can't kick the can down the road for school construction like it's been done for my entire life.
NEWS
June 5, 2012
Regarding your article on New York City's ban on jumbo sugary drinks, it's good that the government is pushing for healthier choices, but will this really be in consumers' best interest? ("Md. leaders watching New York's soda ban," June 1). In this economy, we must ask whether people can afford a tax hike on the sugary beverages that serve as a cheap alternative to low-income families. We will have to wait and see how the tax in NYC goes before we make a decision here. It's understandable why Gov.Martin O'Malleywants to push for healthier diets, but it's not clear that this is the right choice for Maryland.
NEWS
Marta H. Mossburg | June 5, 2012
I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But the 6 percent drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in May, its worst performance in two years, and rising unemployment are not just bad news for people's retirement accounts. It means higher taxes for Marylanders — after yet another tax hike this month and a slowing economy. The reason: The state retirement system depends on a 7.75 percent annual return in order to meet its obligations to state workers. If the $37 billion fund does not meet its target, it ultimately leaves taxpayers on the hook to make up the shortfall.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, Baltimore Sun | May 22, 2012
Gov.Martin O'Malley will sign bills doing everything from raising income taxes to banning arsenic from chicken feed Tuesday as he closes out the business of the 90-day General Assembly session and the special session that followed it. Joined by House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, O'Malley will hold a marathon ceremony during which he will sign hundreds of bills into law. They include the two budget-related measures...
NEWS
By Katherine Shaver, The Washington Post | May 21, 2012
Gov. Martin O'Malley has long promised that Baltimore and the Washington suburbs would each get a new light-rail line and that the Red Line and its Purple counterpart outside D.C. could be built at the same time. But state financial documents recently submitted to the Federal Transit Administration show that O'Malley's promise, to the state's most populous regions, will be difficult — if not impossible — to keep. The General Assembly's recent rejection of the governor's proposed gas tax hike makes it increasingly likely that the state will have to choose to build one line before the other, state and local transportation officials say. With no new tax revenue dedicated to transportation, finding the money for even one of the light-rail lines will be difficult, the officials say. The state hoped to begin construction on both lines in 2015, with the 14-mile Red Line — which would ultimately run from Woodlawn to the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center — opening in early 2021 and the 16-mile Purple Line opening between Bethesda and New Carrollton by late 2020.
NEWS
May 20, 2012
Following yet another tax increase shoved down our throats by the spend-then-tax trio of the Gov.Martin O'Malley, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House SpeakerMichael E. Busch("General Assembly raises income tax on top 14 percent," May 17), there is one positive aspect: At least they didn't scurry about in the middle of the night like cockroaches as they did when passing a record tax hike in 2007. When will Maryland voters learn? Gary Sulin, Forest Hill
NEWS
May 19, 2012
Maryland wants more of my money. It may not seem like a big tax increase being presented, but how much money does the state need? I am the so-called wealthy American who must pay more in taxes. Well I pay plenty of taxes so my politicians can yuk it up in their sky boxes. I pay 23.5 cents per gallon in gasoline taxes per fill-up. That's about $400 per year for two cars. I paid $300 in tolls to get to and from work. There was $41 to park for meetings in Baltimore, $180 to register my car, $1,600 in miscellaneous school fees (field trips, sporting events, uniforms, yearbook, prom, homecoming)
NEWS
April 25, 2012
With the stunning end to Maryland's General Assembly, many have opined of the need to raise the gas tax in the anticipated special session ("Baltimore gets stranded," April 17). Supporters state that the "business community" overwhelmingly favors such an increase. Notably, many in the "business community" that favor the gas tax represent businesses that do not actually own vehicles. As a representative of the trucking industry which delivers the food, clothing, medicine and other goods Marylanders use, I can tell you that such support among businesses is hardly universal.
EXPLORE
April 3, 2012
Editor: I am very proud to serve in the legislature and it has been my pleasure to represent the people of District 35A in the House of Delegates. At the time of this writing, the session is quickly coming to a close. Like last year, we have been dealing with the continuing financial woes of the State. I championed greater reductions in spending and I fought all attempts to increase taxes, including hunting and fishing fees, boat registration fees, and on and on. The biggest one came early this session when the Governor insisted on a tax hike on the price of gasoline.
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