COGD Comes Eleven Days Late to Maryland
Today, Maryland “celebrates” its Cost of Government Day with two other states. The Cost of Government Day for the state falls eleven days after the national average of July 15. The Cost of Government Day report measures the calendar day by which Americans must work to pay for the costs of spending and regulatory burdens at all levels of government: federal, state and local. Taxpayers of Maryland must work more than 43 other states to pay for their share of the cost of government. This year, Maryland residents must work 208 days- coming in fourth place for the latest Cost of Government.
Over the last decade, legislators have increased taxes every year. Between fiscal years 2003 and 2012, taxes have increased cumulatively by $3.99 billion – or, $696.96 for every man, woman and child. Since 2007, Governor Martin O’Malley, has enacted 19 major tax hikes equating to $2.2 billion in tax increases. Simultaneously, the governor has consecutively signed into law spending increases over $1 billion each fiscal year. As a result, residents of the state began voting with their feet, with over 232,000 taxpayers fleeing the state since O’Malley took office in 2007.
Maryland residents should prepare themselves to pay for more taxes during FY2013 as legislators have signed into law a multitude of tax hikes. During the regular 2012 legislative session, legislators increased the “Flush Tax” from $30 to $60, costing more than $53 million. Calling a special session to avoid accepting the FY2013 “Doomsday Budget,” legislators increased taxes even further. The special session increased taxes by more than $259.7 million for taxpayers. Taxes included are:
- Smokeless tobacco taxes rise from 15 percent to 30 percent
- “Little cigar” taxes rise from 15 percent to 70 percent
- Eliminating the telecom property tax credits
- Eliminating personal exemption for individual income earners
- Extending the “Millionaire’s Tax” in the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (BRFA), which increases taxes on individuals making more than $100,000 and families making more than $150,000 to 8.95 percent. This tax bracket is now the fourth highest tax bracket in the nation.
Maryland residents are not only saddled with a heavy tax burden at the state level, but local legislatures are following the state’s lead. The Baltimore City Council recently increased the bottle tax in the city – raising the tax 150 percent to a 5 cent per container tax.
A state rife with state and local taxes gives Maryland the 12th highest tax burden in the country – 10.0 percent. Maryland’s historical increases in spending and tax hikes, leaves few to believe they will reach an earlier Cost of Government Day anytime soon.