The Stress of the Over-Taxed Maryland Taxpayer
The die is cast. Governor Martin O'Malley patched together a FY11 budget with one-time fixes. All conceivable reserve funds have been tapped out. There is no long-term strategy to resolve the $8 billion of out-year deficits created by O'Malley's lackluster budget policy.
The only question for January 2011 is which taxes are the Democrats going to raise?
Two things stand between you and a major tax hike next year:
1. Bob Ehrlich's re-election as Governor of Maryland.
2. A strong Republican Senate Caucus with a veto-proof number of votes.
Don't be fooled. It is exactly what the Democrats did before -- but they are counting on you to forget.
In 2007, O'Malley became Governor and in the fall of that year called a special session of the General Assembly to force through the most massive tax increase in Maryland's history. While O'Malley promised that these taxes would cure the state's structural deficit, overspending continued and the out-year deficit stands at $8 billion.
The tax-raising game was also put in place in 2002. The Democrats passed mandatory spending increases in the 2002 session anticipating that Kathleen Kennedy Townsend would be elected and taxes would be significantly raised in the next year. Instead, Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., was elected and state spending was trimmed in lieu of historic tax increases to balance the budget.
In 2010, the choice of Maryland's future tax policy rests in the voter's hands.