Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly are clearly nostalgic for the days of tax-and-spend liberal Martin O’Malley, but Governor Larry Hogan and the people of Maryland are fighting back.
O’Malley presided over more than 40 tax increases during his two terms as governor, becoming so toxic that a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans two-to-one elected GOP Governor Larry Hogan in 2014 and reelected him by a double-digit margin in 2018. But the state’s few remaining O’Malley fans – a handful of partisan state legislators – are trying to revive his legacy by proposing the biggest tax increase in state history.
Under Governor Hogan, Maryland has experienced an economic revival including 149,000 new jobs and a near record low unemployment rate. But Democrats are trying to undo that progress with a $2.9 billion sales tax increase that would impact every man, woman, and child in Maryland – and even visitors and tourists – by taxing routine items like haircuts, lawn care, and dry cleaning.
Unsurprisingly, the Democrats’ plan has sparked outrage from leaders of Maryland’s business community. National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) State Director Mike O’Halloran stated that “this will raise the cost of doing business in Maryland,” and noted the especially severe consequences for local small businesses.
On Monday, hundreds of Marylanders took to the streets of Annapolis in protest, chanting “Kill The Bill” and marching on the State House as the bill came up for a hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee, while the governor’s office released messages from constituents opposing the tax hike proposal.
While Governor Hogan has eased the burden on Marylanders by cutting taxes, tolls, and fees to the tune of $1.2 billion, and made Maryland businesses more competitive by eliminating or streamlining nearly 850 regulations, Democrats in Annapolis remain tone deaf to the people they represent, who are asking for tax relief, not increases. They’ve even refused to consider the governor’s plan to provide $1 billion in tax relief to retirees – the largest proposed tax cut in more than two decades.
“Maryland Democrats still don’t get it – voters are sick and tired of being taxed to death. After eight years of blindly passing Martin O’Malley’s quixotic tax hikes, resulting in nearly half of Maryland residents wanting to leave the state, they’re back for more,” said RGA Communications Director Amelia Chassé Alcivar. “Under Governor Hogan, Marylanders have seen that innovative policymaking is possible without treating the taxpayers like legislators’ personal piggy bank. Democrats are deluding themselves if they think voters will let them revert back to the failed O’Malley era and see less money in their pockets and a weaker economy.”