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.

Gov. Larry Hogan talks with reporters Thursday at the 100 days event.

Hogan still debating hotel tax

Gov. Larry Hogan is now wrestling with the issue many legislators debated this session: are online travel agents paying the full sales-tax owed to Maryland?

Office of Larry Hogan governor

Battle over online travel tax shifts to governor’s office

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.


Debate continues on value of film tax credit

As popular shows like “VEEP” and “House of Cards” continue to receive tax-credit aid from Maryland, legislators debate whether the return is really worth the $25 million output.

Currently, SB 905 sets up the House and Senate for a debate on the continuance of the film tax credit scheduled to end in July 2016. House of Cards has threatened to pull out of the state if this credit is not continued.

Kipke no new taxes

House moves travel website tax along, rejects amendments

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.

Kasemeyer wide

Senate committee scales back Hogan tax relief proposals

A Senate committee voted on four of Gov. Larry Hogan’s tax relief proposals Friday, significantly scaling back three of them and outright killing a fourth.

Average taxpayers will see little to no immediate effect of any of the measures as passed by the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.

Courtyard Marriott Hotel by JeepersMedia on Flickr

Senate approves online travel tax

The Senate in a 32-15 vote Tuesday passed a bill its sponsors claim closes a tax loophole for online travel sites, but those companies as well as brick-and-motor travel agents are protesting it as a new tax on services.

Hotel bookings 2

Online travel firms claim bill is new tax, legislators say it closes loophole

Is a bill targeting online travel companies creating a new tax on services, as opponents claim, or an attempt to close a loophole and collect sales tax on hotel charges the companies are pocketing for themselves?

Those are the key issues the state Senate will be debating Friday as it takes up SB190 that passed out of its Budget and Taxation Committee Wednesday.