Category: Taxes

Hogan pleased with session, but says voters, not him are the losers on some issues; sees ‘very bad mistake’ on veto override

Five years ago, I sat in a small conference room with a local real estate entrepreneur discussing his new organization with the unlikely mission to “Change Maryland” from its tax-and-spend ways. Late Friday afternoon, I sat down with Larry Hogan again, this time in his more spacious digs in the 240-year-old State House discussing how far Maryland has come in that time. “I’m very pleased with where we are at this point,” Gov. Hogan told me, summing his view of the legislative session.

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Senate committee proposes $100 million a year in income tax relief

The Senate Budget and Taxation committee approved a tax relief package that will save Marylanders about $100 million a year when fully implemented. The dollar amount was based on the total proposed in Gov. Larry Hogan’s package of tax reductions, but it was based more on the recommendation of the Augustine business competitiveness commission to reduce the top tax rate. Taxpayers with adjusted gross income over $100,000 would save 1-3% a year, the working poor making $50,000 would save about $375 a year through an Earned Income Tax Credit, and taxpayers in the middle would get higher personal exemptions, saving $16-20 per person.

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Md. revenue estimates down slightly for coming year

The Maryland Board of Revenue Estimates on Wednesday decided to write down state revenue estimates for fiscal 2016 and 2017 by approximately $51 million from estimates made last December. State Comptroller Peter Franchot said the new estimates reflected weak sales throughout Maryland during the recent holiday season. Economic growth has continued to be stagnant in the last few months.

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Md. voters back income tax cut, cigarette tax hike; Hogan still flying high; Senate race close

Maryland voters of all parties favor cutting the state income tax rate by 10% and raising the cigarette tax by $1 a pack, a new Gonzales Research poll found. Gov. Larry Hogan continues to gain high job approval ratings of almost 70%, with even a majority of Democrats approving his performance. The Democratic race to succeed Barbara Mikulski in the U.S. Senate continues to be neck and neck between Reps. Donna Edwards at 41% and Chris Van Hollen at 42%.

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Large exemptions proposed on pension income

Believing senior citizens are fleeing Maryland due to high taxes on retirement income, Del. Karen Young, D-Frederick, is proposing to exempt as much as $75,000 on pension income. The bill, HB 311, which mirrors a proposal she introduced last year, would expand existing pension exemptions for eligible seniors and disabled Marylanders and would be phased in over seven years. The House Ways & Means Committee considered the bill on Tuesday.

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Senate Budget & Tax Committee discusses new ways to assess property taxes, PG hospital funding

Instead of conducting a physical property inspection, the state would use satellite imagery and other technologies to assess home values, under a bill presented to the Maryland Senate’s Budget and Tax committee on Wednesday. Senate President Mike Miller also testified in favor of a bill that would allocate state and county funding for a new local hospital in Prince George’s County.

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Hogan to release budget — but he won’t be there

Gov. Larry Hogan will submit his fiscal 2017 budget to the legislature Wednesday, but he won’t be briefing reporters about it. Skipping a budget routine that goes back a dozen years or more, Hogan will not unveil his overall budget and the thick five-volume set of budget books that go with it in the governor’s formal reception room. That duty will be handled by Budget Secretary David Brinkley in his offices two blocks from the State House.

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