Author: Maryland Reporter

50% hike in cigarette tax gets hearing

Health care advocates are stoking the tax fires again with legislation that would make Maryland’s tobacco taxes some of the highest in the country.

The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee heard testimony Wednesday on SB 589, which would increase the tobacco tax rate from $2 for a pack of cigarettes to $3. The bill also calls for steep hike on all other tobacco products — from 30% to 95% of the wholesale price.

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Senators object to bill that would force most legislators to commute

Sen. Allan Kittleman’s colleagues on a Senate committee were clearly unhappy with his legislation that would force most of them to commute and no longer reimburse their lodging in Annapolis during the session.

Kittleman, R-Howard and Carroll, has again introduced legislation that would restrict the housing stipend legislators are permitted during session – a maximum $101 per day – to those living more than 50 miles from Annapolis.

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Bill would provide more information on Md. government contracts

Greater transparency in Maryland government contracting is the goal of legislation that would provide more information about each contract on a state website.

The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee is considering a bill that would pour $1.4 million into the growth of the website that allows the public to view payments made to state contractors.

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