Opening Day Comments on Taxes and Teacher Pensions

At the start of the General Assembly session, Governor O’Malley floated the possibility of a penny increase in the State’s sales tax.  This is just one many taxes that could be raised during the next 90 days.  From the Washington Examiner: 

The call for a higher sales tax comes as O’Malley is expected to push lawmakers to raise Maryland’s 23.5-cents-per-gallon gasoline tax and could propose a tripling of the state’s $30-a-year “flush tax” in his budget to be released soon.

Millionaires and corporations also face higher taxes, and Internet sales and tobacco products might get pricier as state officials look to close a $1.1 billion shortfall.

Some legislators are exploring other options to address the State’s budget shortfall.

Just moments before the General Assembly was called into session, Miller suggested that localities take on a greater burden in paying for teacher pension costs. The state picks up most of the tab, which makes up a large share of its massive deficit.

But that blueprint was met with skepticism from O’Malley and Washington-area leaders.

“I’ve resisted that in the past,” O’Malley said. “I still think it would be irresponsible without a revenue stream to support it.”

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