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March 17, 2011

GOP take on March Madness

Even though no Maryland men's teams will be competing in the NCAA basketball tournament this year, the state's GOP is still having a little bit of fun with March Madness.

The state party released their own brackets: It sets up a competition between eight of the "worst" taxes that lawmakers in Annapolis are considering.

On the court, according to the state GOP, are taxes on gas; booze; millionaires (the GOP is re-naming it a 'high-earners tax'); businesses; snacks; energy (refers to Gov. Martin O'Malley's off-shore wind proposal); tobacco and bags.

Some of these taxes are looking far more likely than others: The appetite for raising the gas tax, for example, seems to have diminished amid rising gas prices after turmoil in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Bahrain. And an O'Malley-appointed commission recommended against a "tax on businesses" (a.k.a. combined reporting), making that an unlikely levy this year.

But nobody's ruling out other hikes, including a possible customer-level sales sales tax on beer, wine and liquor.

Some of those decisions are going to shake out in the next few days as the General Assembly grapples with the $14 billion general fund budget. The full House Appropriations committee will meet tomorrow to vote on cuts.

Posted by Annie Linskey at 4:13 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: 2011 legislative session
        

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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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