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The Tentacle


December 27, 2012

Breaking The Back of Maryland Taxpayers

Blaine R. Young

Since 2007 Gov. Martin O’Malley and the Democrat controlled Maryland General Assembly have piled more than $1.6 billion in new tax and fee increases on the backs of Maryland taxpayers.

 

Therefore, taxpayers of Maryland, hold onto your hats because the Maryland legislature is about to convene for a new session. If past history is any indicator, get ready for more tax increases in 2013.

 

The complete control of our state government by Democrats is failing the taxpayers of Maryland. And the failed tax-and-spend policies of our so-called leaders in Annapolis are not only forcing Marylanders to flee the state, but are also to blame for the doubling of homeless families and school-aged children across the state in the last five years.

 

From 2000 through 2010, Maryland’s population increased nine percent. While during the same time, spending by the governor and legislature increased from $17.9 billion to $32.2 billion – an eye-popping 80 percent increase.

 

But they still want more. And the governor and legislative leaders, such as Maryland Senate President Mike Miller continue to argue that Marylanders are “rich” and can afford more tax and fee increases year-in and year-out.

 

Already there is the cry coming from Annapolis to raise the gas tax during the new legislative session. Governor O’Malley and Senator Miller continue to claim that there is no money in the Transportation Trust Fund to meet our road and transportation needs.

 

But the facts do not match the hollow rhetoric coming from the mouths of either elected official.

 

Let us not forget the scathing report from the governor’s own Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation Funding, which revealed that, “large transfers from the Transportation Trust Fund to the General Fund have occurred over the years.” And at least $997 million has not been repaid.

 

In addition to that $997 million, the governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission also exposed the fact the Mr. O’Malley and Mr. Miller have used Enron-like accounting tricks to withhold $350 million annually of Highway User Revenues from counties in order to “balance” the General Fund.

 

Just imagine how many transportation projects could either be underway – or could have been completed – if Governor O’Malley and Senator Miller had not, to be polite, “diverted” well over a billion dollars from the Transportation Trust Fund.

 

The level of hypocrisy from this bunch seems to know no limits. Last year, as they argued for increasing the gas tax to replenish the Transportation Trust Fund, they were at the same time taking another $39 million “transfer” out of the fund to use for other things unrelated to roads or transportation.

 

Talk about the fox guarding the hen house.

 

Until they stop their annual theft from the Transportation Trust Fund to feed their spending addiction, neither the governor nor the legislature has an ounce of credibility to argue for increasing the existing gas tax.

 

The battle cry of the governor and Democrat controlled legislature of the need to continually increase taxes and fees on the hardworking citizens of Maryland to compensate for lost revenue is disingenuous at best and flat-out untruthful at its worst.

 

Again, state spending increased 80 percent while our population increased nine percent over a 10-year period, which begs the question: What did they spend the money on?

 

While we, and most every other Marylander, have struggled with the worst economic crisis of our generation and made the appropriate cuts to our personal budgets, the governor and state legislature have been on a spending spree.

 

The Governor and Legislature apparently needed $1.6 billion in new taxes and fees in order to feed their unquenchable thirst for money and addiction to spending.

 

That is the only way to explain why the General Assembly gave themselves a $2.4 million increase in “personal expenses” for fiscal year 2012. And their addiction to spending taxpayer money is the only explanation for why the governor increased the budget for his offices 12.7 percent and increased his Executive Department’s budget 10.3 percent in fiscal year 2012.

 

Accountability is lacking from the Governor’s Mansion and through the halls of our State Capitol.

 

Marylanders deserve better.

 

According to the Tax Foundation, Maryland has the fifth highest tax burden in the nation and is ranked as having one of the worst tax climates for business in the country.

 

Before even whispering the words of another tax or fee increase, here is a challenge for our governor and Democrat controlled Legislature as they begin to descend upon Annapolis for another legislative session: Pledge to the taxpayers of Maryland that you will thoroughly dissect the budget, line by line, and commit yourselves to making the difficult but necessary cuts, and for once end your 90-day session without breaking the backs of Marylanders with any new taxes or fees.

 

Blaine@BlaineYoung.com

 



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