Baltimore at night taken from the international space station

What to do about Baltimore’s high taxes

What to do about Baltimore's high taxes? It is an old question perplexing Maryland political leaders, but with new urgency. And there have been precious few new answers. Some ideas were floated at a recent policy debate.

Gov. Larry Hogan announces fees cuts flanked by cabinet secretaries.

Hogan cuts fees across agencies, saving $10 million annually

Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday announced reductions and eliminations to state agency fees, saving Maryland taxpayers approximately $51 million over the next five years. Each state agency was asked to conduct a top to bottom review to determine which fees they could reduce or eliminate through administrative means by the end of 2015, Hogan said.

Marvin Mandel's portrait as governor was moved from the second floor to the State House rotunda for the viewing last week. Photo by Governor's Office.

Rascovar on Mandel Part 1: Marvin the Magician

Simply put, Marvin Mandel -- who was laid to rest last week at age 95 -- ranks as the greatest and most effective Maryland governor of the 20th century. Only Gov. Albert C. Ritchie (1920-35) comes close to matching Mandel as a government reformer. But Mandel was far more ambitious in his efforts to improve society, expand the reach of government and anticipate future trends.

Map by "How Money Walks" shows states losing taxpayers in red and states gaining in green. For an interactive map with details for each state go to http://www.howmoneywalks.com/irs-tax-migration/

IRS data again shows taxpayers leaving Maryland

Recently released data from the IRS shows that about 5,500 more taxpayers left Maryland in 2012 than moved to the state.

Long-cited by tax critics as annual data that show the migration of taxpayers to lower-taxed states, some experts caution that not too much should be read into year-to-year changes.

Marriott Hotel

Hogan punted on hotel sales tax

Out of dozens of tax bills introduced this year, Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed one of the only ones that made it through the legislature -- the hotly debated and heavily lobbied online hotel sales tax.

Proponents of the bill, SB190, mainly Maryland brick and mortar hotels, claimed the online companies are charging but not remitting to the state the same tax the hotels charge.

Online travel companies claimed the bill was really a “trojan horse,” an entirely new tax disguised as an effort to even the playing field.

Franchot Annello Frank Kaikis

Franchot favors freeze on taxes, opposes major tax cuts

Maryland's chief tax collector, Comptroller Peter Franchot, supports a long-term moratorium on increases on taxes and fees, but he also opposes major tax cuts.

"We should have a multi-year moratorium on taxes and fees," Franchot told the Arbutus Roundtable Monday as the group of generally conservative Democrats honored him for his fiscal responsibility.