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January 7, 2011

House and Senate leaders talk taxes

The presiding officers of the Maryland's House and Senate offered their thoughts this morning on the the upcoming legislative session.

House Speaker Michael E. Busch threaded the needle on new taxes saying to local elected leaders: "I don't think the legislature will take up new revenue measures on its own."

But, the door was not slammed shut. He floated the idea that a "consensus" could emerge on new taxes, maybe after the local leaders get a look at cuts Gov. Martin O'Malley presents in his new budget.

And he added this tidbit: Even after O'Malley submits his budget the General Assembly may want to cut even more in order to leave a cushion that would prevent mid-year cuts from occurring at the Board of Public Works where the legislature has no voice.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller was far more blunt on the topic. In recent appearances he has pushed a hike to the gas tax and disparaged recent candidates who'd taken a "no new taxes" stance: "Those people aren't worth the powder you'd blow them up with," Miller said.
Some additional points from the talks:

* Busch speculated that the state would again take local roads money from the counties; bond capital projects and make cuts to Medicaid.

* Miller and Busch both took the locals to task for cutting the local property tax and providing COLAs and step increases to employees while state workers have had three years of 10-day furloughs. Both said that 12 counties have lowered the local property taxes. Miller noted that in 2010 teachers in 10 counties received COLAs and this year teacher in five counties are set for COLAs.

* Miller said in-state tuition at some colleges for the children of illegal immigrants will be on the table again. He described legislation that requires the parents to be in the process of obtaining citizenship and is possibly limited to community colleges.

* Miller said he'd vote against gay marriage or civil unions -- but he'd vote to cut off a filibuster for either bill. Senate GOP leader Allan Kittleman just announced that he'll introduce a civil unions bill, surprising many conservatives.

* House GOP leader Tony O'Donnell said he agrees that teacher pension costs should not be shifted to the locals. His stance is important because the idea passed last year in the Senate with GOP support, but stalled in the House in part because the Republican caucus there fought it.
Posted by Annie Linskey at 10:55 AM | | Comments (11)
Categories: 2011 legislative session
        

Comments

Mike Miller never has any problem spending our money.
Yet he supports yet another giveaway to illegal immigrants, excuse me New Americans.
MOM drains the transportation fund and we taxpayers once again have to foot the bill.
Gotta love those Progressive policies in Annapolis-let's shrink the middle class even more and chase away more retirees and employers.

"recent candidates who'd taken a "no new taxes" stance: "Those people aren't worth the powder you'd blow them up with," Miller said. "

What a comment from an elected official.

Kind of like the comment an emailer sent to OweMalley and was jailed.

Millers comment could be considered a terroristic threat if spoken by a mere serf.

Mike Millers time has come and gone. It is time to get a new Senate President. How about someone who is not from the rich like his family is. We need someone who is in tune with the whole state and not just his little part of Southern Mayland. His comments about folks who believe in no new taxes is sad. Maybe his law firm or his son could represent him in court to defend his comments and terroristic threat.

And this is why i can't wait to get out of this backwards-ass state!

Mike Miller is an A**. Raise the gas tax? Really? You should be looking at ways to LOWER THE GAS PRICES. It is getting so high and NO ONE seems to care at the local or Federal level. What is wrong here? This will cripple food prices, the boating industry, tourism in Ocean City and othe places in Maryland. Don't they get it?

I agree 100 percent Essex Runner.
Progressives just DO NOT GET IT!

Gas taxes, please. It is a state secret that Maryland has a law to keep retailers from "low-balling gas. Low balling is selling a product below cost to attract customer that will buy other things.

Note that you can get percents off on anything else, but only cents off on gas!

Mike Miller is an Azz and should be forced to step down for remarks disparaging and embarrassing. He is senile and ignorant.

Look at you people whining about Miller. Fact; someone loves this guy. They keep voting him back into office.
Look at you people who continue to whine about how screwed up Maryland is.
Fact: more love it this way than your way.

Challenge the regressive s' mindset. Gather facts. Facts are stubborn things. Hit them with your best shot, but for goodness sake, 'STOP COMPLAINING AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT'.

Here is a thought vs taxes that is worth some consideration. If 26 countries have adopted the Flat Tax concept why do the individual States not take a hard look at it? Most agree that the Fed should move in that direction so why not the States too?

Miller's comment is out of line--we all should refrain from using violent imagery in our speech.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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