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Legislature Approves Tax Hike, Pension Shift

Governor calls budget package "good for all Marylanders." Republicans say burden to local governments may force county governments to increase taxes.

The Maryland House of Delegates gave final approval Wednesday to a package of three bills that increases taxes on some state residents, shifts part of teacher pensions to local governments and undoes the so-called "doomsday budget."

The votes Wednesday afternoon capped the three-day special session called by Gov. Martin O'Malley in order to override more than $500 million in cuts made in a budget passed in early April.

The Senate approved the same three bills Tuesday.

As part of the package, legislators approved by a vote of 86-51 what amounts to a 50-50 split of teacher pension costs with local governments. The split will be phased in over the next four years beginning July 1 with the new budget year.

That bill also includes a doubling of fees for death certificates; increasing the tax on the wholesale cost of so-called "little cigars" to 70 percent; and doubles the tax on smokeless tobacco.

Eight Democrats joined all 43 Republicans in the House in voting against the bill that split pension costs.

The House voted 77-60 to approve legislation increasing income taxes on what lawmakers and O'Malley called the top 14 percent of earners in the state. Again, all 43 House Republicans voted against the tax increases and elimination of personal tax exemptions, which are expected to generate $247 million in additional revenues.

B Allen May 26, 2012 at 02:10 PM
@Elizabeth...seems ol brookie wants all that so she can get more handouts than what she is getting now. She needs to get an education.
B Allen May 26, 2012 at 02:19 PM
exactly...they love the fact that they have the power over the thought process of those that defend them. They have their good little "workers", "comrades", etc. carrying their "water" for them.
B Allen May 26, 2012 at 02:27 PM
haha sfm257...the lawyers make up the rules and tax codes so they can get around them. Cripes, perfect example John Edwards made millions chasing ambulances and set up an "S" cop and got away with paying his share of taxes. Oh yeah, then there is Timmy Gietner, the one who said "I did not know I had to pay tax on my income"...Oh yeah then there is that scumbag in the white house who taught community (association) organizers how to rip off the American Taxpayers...YEAH EVEN THE FEEBLE MINDED LEFT WING NUTJOBS WHO ARE SO BLIND THAT THEY WILL ONLY SEE WHAT THEY BELIVE, WHICH IS ALL FABRICATIONS BY THE LEFT.
B Allen May 26, 2012 at 02:35 PM
To ALL the "fellow comrades" out there. You idiots keep trying to defend the dumbocrap party, when you KNOW (or if you don't then I feel sorry for you because you are that stupid) damn right well that they are trying to turn our democracy into a socialist society...evidently you people have NO clue what so ever about what you are saying. You say the dems are "progressive", well look it up in the communist manifesto...the dumbocraps are following it, step by step. I KNOW what you people are trying to do, Van Jones (obamas buddy and sworn communist) has even come out and said it, "prepare for the American Fall". Let him try in my neighborhood, he won't make it out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Communist_Manifesto
B Allen May 26, 2012 at 02:42 PM
@wilson...yeah I have real good ideas. First of all, don't listen to democrats or vote for them. Secondly, don't look at what others have and wish you had the same, it will make you miserable, that is why dumbocraps don't like successful people and why they have miserable lives. Third, get an education. Fourth, get a job, work hard, and think for yourself. When your employer sees that they can make decisions for yourself, you will move up and the money will follow. It is as easy as that. Or you can be like this woman and hope the government pays your way (but don't hole your breath), but have you ever seen a wealth communist, NO... they are ALL "workers" as obama calls them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P36x8rTb3jI
B Allen May 26, 2012 at 02:50 PM
BTW people, it is going to get worse with the so called "redistricting" in Maryland. OWEmalley planned it so you know it is going to screw ALL marylanders. It is totally unfair but he is making it so that the dems can have control (or so he thinks). I feel that even the dems in MD are going to wise up one day and say. I am tired of seeing 70 to 80% of my income going to taxes. Especially in MoCo when we put in over 40% of the states revenue and get back maybe 7 to 10%. OUR services go away and we have to keep paying more in taxes to the county, like the new real estate tax hike and the ambulance fees, which we already pay for. BUT don't take anything away from the freebees that the illegals get here in MoCo and in MD...yeah, you know the $4Billion in taxpayers dollars that go to illegals and they want us to pick up their college tuition, to boot. Under this so called "dream act" HA!!! what scumbags they are. Funny thing is, you libs believe them...I think my cat has more intelligence than your every day lib nutjob.
Buck Harmon May 27, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Until serious campaign reform is forced by the citizens we will continue to be screwed equally by both parties....records are trumped by corporate campaign finance and we will remain at their mercy. The ENTIRE core of our Country is heavily corrupt.
Buck Harmon May 27, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Step 1 - Citizens must FORCE campaign finance reform. Until this happens all of the other schematic's will continue to tighten the screws that we accept. Dems and Repubs are currently doing nothing to improve this very sad situation. A REVOLUTION is in order..
Freddy May 27, 2012 at 12:51 AM
As much as I would hate to see that happen Buck, I think your right.
Brook Hubbard May 27, 2012 at 04:00 AM
@B Allen: You really are a piece of work. Could you be any more of an idiot? 1) I'm not female. The only people calling me female are morons who make presumptions based solely on names. 2) I "sound like that type of person" and want "more handouts than [I am] getting now"? You obviously don't know a thing about me since the only handouts I've ever received was 6 months of unemployment out of 18 years of jobs. In previous posts I've railed against Section 8 and supported drug-testing of anyone who wants government assistance. However, as is typical of "your kind", you can't accept reality and constantly try to fit people who disagree with you into your twisted mindset. You know who else does that? People suffering mental disorders. 3) I'm the one who "needs to get an education"? Yet you say to "use google and find the truth"? Seriously, could this be anymore ridiculously ironic. Here I am working on a Master's, posting responses with information from actual texts and studies, while you claim the "truth" is found on Google. What's next, should we look to Wikipedia for the cures to the Nation's woes? B Allen... you are a retard. There's no being polite or intellectual here, I'm sorry. You make fallacious attacks on others, based solely on idiotic presumptions and a lack of reality, and then claim others are wrong. Is there any wonder no one pays heed to the nonsense you spew when you act like that?
Ronald May 27, 2012 at 11:16 AM
I think someone needs to monitor these postings and flag allthe personal attacks. Most of you are out of control and needs a serious attitude adjustment.
wilson May 27, 2012 at 08:00 PM
xcuse me for askin a stupid question , what is it called when repubs do it to dems in other states ? seems like they both like the same game ?
B Allen May 28, 2012 at 11:34 AM
@Brook, ok, if you are not a female then what are you, one of those that needs the government to tell you what to do and you to carry their water? Working on a masters does not mean you are going to get a job under the obama administrations rule. If you were so frickin smart then why would you only listen to one or 2 sources for your info (i.e. MSNBC and PBS). I have looked at your postings and the ones I saw were one sided, not the REAL representation. Google gives the chance to find out ALL sources on a story and make a decision as to what is truth and what is fiction. There are ALWAYS 2 sides of a story. If you were so smart you would read more like I do. You people cannot look further than your nose as to find out what is truth and what id the fabrication by the left. I post actual REAL numbers for the GAO, real bi-partisan surveys, Labor Department numbers and charts, etc. Not what left wing media survery (or right wing surveys), statements from the obama administration on how well the economy is without the numbers, comments from the nitwit gov of MD as to how good things are, etc...theirs is ALL propaganda. You try to champion liberalism and defend communism, look further. Follow the money and you will see how the libs can ruin just about everything they touch. No wonder noone listens to what you have to say, all you do is go on attack mode when you are WRONG with your one sided leftist views.
B Allen May 28, 2012 at 11:45 AM
@Brookie...BTW, it is ok for you to go attack others, as you did after Elizebeth made some good comments earlier on this subject. Typical left wing nutjob. It is ok for you to go on attack but not others to counter your false claims. Don't like it when you get hit with the truth do you? Get used to it because your buddy will be gone from the white house and hopefully someone will RECALL OWEmalley. You are the MORON!!!! or better yet, RICHARD CRANIUM!!!!
Brook Hubbard May 29, 2012 at 06:35 PM
So, according to your post, I must either be a woman or a blind subject of the government. What kind of logic are you following? What does my name, my biological sex, and my stance on the government have to do each other? Not to mention, please provide a direct quote from my posts saying I "need the government to tell [me] what to do"? Working on a Master's has nothing to do with the Obama administration or earning a job "under" it. You questioned my education, and I provided proof that I am far from uneducated. Yet so far the only proof you have on your education is that you learn everything through Google. Then you try to insinuate that my sources are worse, by arbitrarily suggesting they are MSNBC and PBS? Yes, stories have two sides; Google is not the place to find them. You claim to post real numbers, but so far I have yet to see your sources. Would you mind providing me with direct links to peer-reviewed articles supporting your statements? (By the way, I never watch MSNBC or any "news" station (including CNN or FoxNews). The one news source I recommended was the BBC, seeing as they are not mired in our sociopolitical divides and thus have a better chance of being unbiased. Also, the last I checked most of the programming on PBS included children's shows, educational shows about nature and history, and British comedies and dramas. So, which of those is directly influencing my socio-political stance in such an insidious manner?)
Brook Hubbard May 29, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Then you go one claiming I "champion liberalism" and "defend communism". Once more, could you please give me a direct quote in my posts showing me performing either action? What I champion is understanding what those terms are; what I defend is proper education and application of that knowledge. I never championed liberalism; I stated the correct definition of a political liberal, which is far from the ignorant use of the term as an insult. I never defended communision; I clarified the error in using it as a descriptor of the Obama administration. You claim that everything I spew is "wrong", that my views are left wing, liberal, progressive, Democrat, etc. Apparantly there is a miscommunication between myself and my "government masters", seeing as I support the 2nd Amendment, the death penalty, English as a national language, etc. Similarly, I have fought ~against~ legislation that supports illegal immigrants, freeloaders on welfare and housing assistance, etc. Yet, according to you, all of those views are just the stances of a "typical left wing nutjob". I bow to your infinite wisdom and the Almighty Google, which is apparently the only path to a higher education and "the Truth".
Escariot May 29, 2012 at 06:44 PM
So brook argues against ignorancy by calling others an idiot, a moron, and a retard. That pretty much sums up your character in just a few posts. You are so enlightened that you get your news about our country, from the bbc. That is sheer brilliance. Do you follow the superbowl by reading and watching tv from Holland for its "unbiased" analysis?
Brook Hubbard May 29, 2012 at 06:57 PM
I have actually apologized to the editor for those terms. It was a heated statement and I crossed the same line my opposition had done. I am sorry if those three words gave you a negative view of my character. That being said, I did not say I solely receive my news about the US from BBC. What I said was that they were recommended and the closest you can get to "unbiased". They still have their agenda and they are still limited, but I would rather watch them over the big Three. I hear most of my news through local stations, after which I then proceed to investigate any stories that interest me. This often involves checking data through a variety of state-run sites, scientific databases, and/or various fact-checking organizations. That is called critical thinking and what I espouse everyone should do. I'm sorry, but your comparison to watching the SuperBowl via a Holland TV source doesn't work. Sports media does not hold the same importance to well-being or education that Political or Scientific media does. The chance of bias (although existent) is also far less than through these other sources. And finally, do you watch the World Cup through European stations or do you instead choose an American broadcast?
Able Baker May 29, 2012 at 07:08 PM
I think you're referring to this article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703976804575114241782001262.html , but you appear to have fudged some of the numbers in your favor. The year is 2008, *not* 2007. Why is this important? Because from Jan 1 2008 to Dec 31 2008, the stock market dropped just about exactly 30%. Since most people's net worth largely consists of their house value, it's not surprising that there are significantly fewer "millionaires" over the same time period. Property values dropped anywhere from 15-30% over the same time period, depending on where you live. People are always moving to other states. I'll note that the report doesn't say whether it's 1000 people making $100k or 10 people making $100 million. Or whether that's an increase from prior years.
Andrew Metcalf (Editor) May 29, 2012 at 07:25 PM
I have been observing this conversation along with others in the past. Let's please try to keep these comment streams more civil and refrain from personal attacks on others. Otherwise, I'll start deleting comments and banning users, which I hate to do, but we're trying to create a community conversation here, not elicit vitriol.
Buzz Beeler May 29, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Andrew, good job. I always promote articulation over denigration. There is an old saying that goes if you have too resort to name calling you have lost the debate. I also admire people like Brook that have the courage to apologize. Live and learn. We all make mistakes and it's good that you establish the boundaries. Play by the rules or get out of the game.
Andrew Metcalf (Editor) May 30, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Thank you, I agree with you, if you have to resort to name calling, you have lost the debate. I want to encourage conversation, but not the type that will keep others from participating.
Brook Hubbard May 30, 2012 at 04:21 PM
And as usual, misinformation is spread. The US Postal Service is, per the regulations enacted by Congress, a self-supporting government entity. Numerous websites confirm this, including their own website which notes, "The Postal Service has been self-supporting since 1982: All income is generated from the sale of stamps and related services. No tax dollars (including from income or sales taxes) is used to pay for the operation of services." Now, there was a report from the USPS Office of Inspector General which noted that the postal service does receive $100 million/year of taxpayer money. This money is directly used to offset costs of free and subsidized mailing privelages, currently limited to free mail for medically blind and official mail to overseas voters. So yes, some of our tax money is funneled into these two Congress-approved exceptions. However, if you think that money should stop, talk to Congress who are the only ones allowed to make changes to how the Postal Service is run.
Brook Hubbard May 30, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Now, the ~real~ reason the Post Office is suffering is because of Congressional acts that require the USPS to pay ~in advance~ to cover future retiree benefits. This is a common business practice except the amount required by Congress is far more than any other organization practices. The US Postal Service is required to prepay ~$5 million each year and have been sitting on a ~$7 BILLION surplus in that prepaid account. So, why haven't they drawn from an account that has been overpaid? Because Congress won't let them. To use this account for anything other than what it was declared for requires a Congressional act. Thus, that money just sits there while the US Postal Service slowly dies. Why won't Congress approve withdrawal from the account? Who knows, but the usual concepts of "conspiracy" and "greed" seem likely. It has long been supposed that Congress uses the US Postal Service as its own personal piggy bank. Seeing as they are the only ones who can approve the use of that surplus, they simply sit on the money until ~they~ want it. Then they simply pass an act that allows them to tap it for their own needs, regardless of why it was originally put there. There you have it: This has nothing to do with robbing the taxpayers so much as robbing themselves.
B Allen May 31, 2012 at 01:18 AM
When you are presented with the facts without any "spin" whatsoever and you have to attack the person who presented the facts, you have lost. Brook, too bad you did not look at the facts and figures I posted earlier, I am NOT going back to do it again here. Also, when someone tries to "spin" leftist ideals, philosiphies and programs (i.e., your list of A through G earier in the posts, everything up to planned parenthood, who uses tax dollars for litigation against the American people in the courts), I have the right to present the facts to counter your claims. I know it is hard for you to take. BTW, Google is a good source because you can search by subject and get various views on the subject you have searched. Evidentally you have not learned how to use Google properly. The way you referred to it is that I get my news from Google...HA!!! Guess you need to take the blinders off and think outside the box, or does everything need to be spelled out for you?
Brook Hubbard May 31, 2012 at 01:29 AM
B Allen, now you're just not making sense. You have repeatedly refused to answer any of my questions, simply going back to claims of how using Google will provide you with the truth. Planned Parenthood? I asked someone to explain what Planned Parenthood has to do with Communism. We all know Planned Parenthood is a special interest group, but what does that have to do with the tenets of Communism? If you're going to try and use an issue to support your stance, then please explain the logic behind that support. Google is ~not~ a good source. The websites it brings up are not guaranteed to be unbiased, fact-checked, or peer-reviewed. They could be reliable websites or they could be opinion-laden blogs. The only guarantee is that they made it to the top of the list either through popularity or by paying Google to be there. I'm done with you, B Allen. You're the one making yourself look uneducated, unintelligent, and closed-minded with every post you make. Every time you post your ignorant vitriol, all it does is hurt any positions you support. Good luck in life.
B Allen May 31, 2012 at 01:43 AM
not so, you on the other hand have not come up with one fact. You still don't get it. I am through with listening to your rants. You ego is getting the best of you and Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity. You are NOT as smart as you think you may be. I have explained it, if you cannot comprehend, then it is your problem. I don't have time for people who are incapable of comprehending what is being said. You are a so called adult, figure it out and quit trying to put your spin on everyones words and statements.
Escariot May 31, 2012 at 11:45 AM
What it has to do with communism brook of the insults, is that communism in the 1960s infiltrated almost every arm of the left wing liberal special interests, which planned parenthood is one. They, the communists, even stated that by the time America wakes up and realizes that the progressive liberal party is serving the needs of the communists and not that of the secular citizens, it will be too late. They, the communists, have bragged about how easy it is to sell their agenda to left wing groups that seek the destruction of capitalism through massive government entitlements that will bankrupt the system. For somebody that rants about lack of intelligence, ego, education, you would think that you would know about how communists infiltrated those specific groups. Instead, your precious bbc does not cover such topics. I suppose you also are unaware of how Saul Alinsky and his disciples wanted everyone in the 1960s to file for welfare with the goal to bankrupt the government and then have government take over all aspects of American life in the guise of a savior.
John OHare September 09, 2012 at 03:46 PM
This is the most provoking question in this entire Blog. Consistantly the national public openion poles have shown that the American public rates the combined elected political body with only a 12% approval rating. Why do we keep voting these politicians back in office? My guess is that, at voting time, we see a name on the ballot that we recognise and just vote for them. Human nature would tell you that somehow this is better than voting for an unknown. Under normal conditions this might make sInce but when you know that the system, as a whole, no longer represents you or your beliefs, the unknown is the better choice.
Adam R September 09, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Both parties nationally want to forget inflation for the short term while pushing money to corporations with tax breaks to generate business which will in turn pump money back into the economy and pull us out of our 5 year recession. The problem is consumers have already been paying through the nose in the grocery store and at the gas station all of this time. Price of gas is out of control, and I think the prices in the grocery store are worse than the gas increases. Think about what you bought (actual size of product) and how much you paid 5 years ago compared to now. We are and will continue to get the shaft when we buy our weekly groceries. I am tired of being told inflation has been minimal all the while we are paying 40% more for our food bill from 5 years ago. Corporations make big money from food. Look at the stock market, these companies are all over the fortune 500. Why should I(Joe Taxpayer) have to subsidize these companies further? They need to innovate and generate new business, and not keep getting a break from Uncle Sam when it comes to paying their fair share of taxes.

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