Author Archives: Len Lazarick

Rain tax repeal enacted; lone legislator says bill repeals little

April 14th, 2015 | by Len Lazarick

A lone legislator let his disapproval rain down on House delegates the last night of session, as the Watershed Protection bill passed with only Del. Richard Impallaria opposed against 138 members. “There are people who believe that what we are doing is repealing the rain tax,” said Del. Richard Impallaria, R-Baltimore and Harford. “They are still going to get a rain tax bill, every single year.”

At the end, Hogan and lawmakers fighting at the margins

April 12th, 2015 | by Len Lazarick

About 98% of the budget approve by the legislature is what Hogan himself submitted Jan. 22. He and the legislature have been arguing about the other 2%. Now 2% of a $40.5 billion budget is $800 million, so it's not just chump change. Here at the end of the 90-day session, it's only about $200 million that's in dispute, though lawmakers have "fenced off" considerably more on programs such as mass transit so Hogan can't spend it on other things. They are arguing about the margins -- and about holding down spending in years to come.

Packed house for fundraiser

April 10th, 2015 | by Len Lazarick

More than 100 people packed the upstairs bar at Harry Browne's across from the State House Thursday night for's third annual happy hour fundraiser that raised close to $25,000 to support the daily State Roundup of news. This year's guest bartenders were Gov. Larry Hogan, Senate Majority Leader Catherine Pugh and Senate Minority Leader J.B. Jennings

Battle over online travel tax shifts to governor’s office

April 9th, 2015 | by Len Lazarick

Online travel companies lost their battle to prevent paying more Maryland sales tax on the House floor Wednesday, a fight they had already lost in the Senate. Having been unable to persuade the lawmakers on the first floor of the State House that this is a new tax on their hotel booking services, they are now taking their case to Gov. Larry Hogan on the second floor. A spokesman for the governor said he has yet to take a position on the legislation

House moves travel website tax along, rejects amendments

April 7th, 2015 | by Len Lazarick

The effort to collect more Maryland sales tax from travel websites such as Orbitz and Expedia moved closer to enactment as the House gave preliminary approval to legislation backed by Marriott International and hotel chains. The online sites call the measure a new tax and the hotels say it is an existing tax the tech travel sites were pocketing instead of paying. Local travel agents say they may be caught in the crossfire, and wind up paying tax on their service fees

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