Maryland sales tax: Low compared with other states
The centerpiece of former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich's economic platform is his attempt to regain the governorship is cutting Maryland's sale tax from 6 percent to 5 percent. Gov. Martin O'Malley, you'll recall, raised it from 5 percent to 6 percent. But a study by the Tax Foundation shows that, when ranked nationally, and when local sales taxes are taken into account, Maryland's sales tax doesn't look all that high.
In "low-tax" Tennessee, for example, the weighted average local sales tax brings the statewide rate up past 9 percent -- highest in the country. By this measure Texas, New York, Arkansas, Arizona and many other states -- a total of 32 -- all have higher sales taxes than Maryland. To repeat, the Tax Foundation didn't cherry-pick the highest local rates from each state. It produced an average rate for a whole state, weighted according to how much retail activity took place in a locality.
Here's Sunday's column on why Ehrlich should favor cutting Maryland's income tax instead.