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Senate passes budget, tax hikes; video captures demonstrators for and against

May 15, 2012

The Maryland Senate passed a final budget and over $300 million in tax hikes shortly after noon Wednesday. The House starts debate on the bill Tuesday afternoon. A video shot throughout the day on Monday shows the demonstrators opposed to the tax hikes and spending increases, and a rally by public employee unions supporting the bills. [...more]

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Tax hikes include $36M increase on business loans

The Maryland Senate is expected to give final approval today to a package of tax hikes that will raise more than $300 million a year. But a little noticed provision will also raise $36 million in new taxes from companies that back mortgages on commercial development and homebuilding. Opponents say it will add to the cost of construction and harm Maryland’s business rankings. [...more]

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Speaker Busch: ‘Only 16% of Marylanders are being asked to pay a little more’

In this podcast, House Speaker Michael Busch spoke to reporters about the budget and the cuts that would have to be made if tax increases don’t pass. “Only 16% of Marylanders are being asked to pay a little more.” [...more]

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Podcasts: Protesters demonstrate against tax hikes; Miller explains session, O’Donnell objects

May 14, 2012

“Shame on them for not doing the people’s work in the time frame that they had… They raise our taxes, we put less food on the table," said a Carroll County protester. Senate President Mike Miller says, “It would have been nice if we could have got it done in the 90-day session.” [...more]

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Maryland is too reliant on income taxes, one group says

May 11, 2012

While the governor has touted Maryland’s comparatively low tax burden on its high income populace, some groups are concerned that the income tax hikes proposed for next week’s special session will harm Maryland’s national rankings on taxes and business climate. [...more]

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Gov. O’Malley touts low taxes as he calls special session to raise them

May 10, 2012

Maryland has some of the lowest taxes in the country, Gov. Martin O’Malley said Wednesday officially announcing plans to call a special session of the legislature to fix a budget impasse -- partially by raising taxes. [...more]

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Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage could impact Md. referendum

May 9, 2012

With a referendum on Maryland’s same-sex marriage looming in November, President Obama may have shaken the dynamic in the state on Wednesday as he openly endorsed same-sex marriage. Supporters of gay marriage say it gave them a boost, but opponents trying to get the law on the ballot were undeterred. [...more]

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Ehrlich classroom appearance focuses on presidential contest, not local issues

May 8, 2012

Former Gov. Bob Ehrlich was in professor mode Tuesday afternoon as he made his annual visit to a political persuasion class at Towson University taught by his friend, Professor Rick Vatz. Ehrlich, Mitt Romney’s Maryland campaign chair, prodded students on how they would sell their candidate — faults and all — no matter which side they supported. [...more]

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$2.6 billion transportation audit finds no problems; BPW heaps praise on departing secretary

May 4, 2012

Many audits of state agencies find wasted dollars, poor accounting controls, lax purchasing measures and even occasional fraud; so it’s worth pointing out that legislative auditors reviewing $2.6 billion of spending that went through the transportation secretary’s office found absolutely nothing. The good news comes as Transportation Secretary Beverley Swaim-Staley announced she’s leaving the post July 1, after almost three years in the job. [...more]

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After partnership bill fails, State Center lawsuit moves forward

After the General Assembly failed to pass a bill dictating state policy on public-private partnerships, plaintiffs in the State Center lawsuit are moving forward with their case. An attorney for the group of Baltimore business owners who have been suing the state since December 2010 said the amended bill’s failure to gain passage was further validation for their case. [...more]

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