News Corner

We Need more than A Gas Tax Holiday

Maryland Needs More Than A Gas Tax Holiday
 
by
 
Randolph May
March 27, 2022
In response to the rapid rise in prices at the pump, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and the leaders of the Maryland General Assembly quickly got together to adopt a thirty day "emergency" suspension of the state's 37 cents per gallon gas tax. Since the suspension became effective on March 18, prices at the pump have dropped by roughly the amount of the tax reduction.
 
All well and good. I'll cheer along with Maryland's other drivers at the tax holiday.
 
But don't mistake the temporary gas tax suspension for the broader, deeper permanent tax relief Marylanders deserve, especially now with the state projecting a huge near-term budget surplus.
 
By various measures, Maryland is widely acknowledged to be a high tax state. Indeed, according to a study released in March 2021 by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, Marylanders bear the sixth highest combined state and local tax burden among the fifty states. Another March 2021 study, this one produced by WalletHub, determined that Maryland has the 3rd highest personal income tax burden of all the states. And the Tax Foundation's 2021 Business Tax Climate Index ranks Maryland near the bottom – 44th among the 50 states.
With that in mind, I'm generally in favor of tax reductions whenever we can get them, including the gas tax suspension providing "temporary pain relief"! But what Marylanders, and Maryland's economy, really need is a broad-based significant income tax reduction. This should be the deliverable for the legislative leaders and Governor Hogan.
Hogan’s big package, Dems small offering
At the beginning of this year's legislative session, Governor Larry Hogan proposed a tax cut package estimated to provide about $4.6 billion in tax relief. His proposal targets the bulk of the tax cuts – about $4 billion phased in over time – to eliminating taxes on retirement income. The rest of the reductions would be used to increase Maryland's refundable earned income tax credit and to provide additional tax incentives for manufacturers to relocate to Maryland or expand existing employment opportunities in the state.
 
Governor Hogan touted the proposal as "the largest tax cut package in state history," and it is a commendable proposal that, if adopted, would move Maryland in the right direction.
 
Presumably in response to Hogan's proposal, House Speaker Adrienne Jones and other Democratic House of Delegates leaders proposed their own tax cut package consisting of two components: permanent sales tax exemptions for a fairly narrow class of consumer goods and a temporary state match to the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which would expire in 2028. The Democrats' proposal is much smaller, equating to approximately a $60 million annual revenue reduction according to the Democrats' own estimates.
 
Like the gas tax holiday, the House Democrats' proposal, in and of itself, has some merit simply on the basis that it constitutes tax relief. But Governor Hogan's proposal is superior because it is far deeper – that is, the overall tax relief package is much larger at an estimated $4.6 billion – and it also appears to be broader – more Marylanders will pocket a tax reduction directly.
State would benefit most from broad tax cuts
 
And that's important. Maryland would benefit most from broad-based reductions in its personal income tax, which ranks among the highest in the nation. A flatter structure than that currently in place, with lower overall rates and very few deductions other than a standard deduction, should be implemented. Even if such a pro-growth tax regime has to be implemented in stages, because of political or other imperatives, now is the time for Governor Hogan and the Democrats in the legislature to start the reform process.
 
Indeed, because of the state's budget surplus, it is an especially auspicious time. On March 10, Maryland's Bureau of Revenue Estimates, a body comprised of Comptroller Peter Franchot, Budget and Management Secretary David Brinkley, and Treasurer Dereck Davis, issued new state revenue estimates that increased Maryland’s historic budget surplus to a whopping $7.5 billion. This is an increase in the projected surplus estimate of more than $1.6 billion for fiscal years 2022 and 2023.
 
Because aid to the states during the pandemic vastly exceeded what, reasonably, they needed, state coffers across the country are flush. And, as the Washington Post reported on February 27, 2022, last year 29 states and D.C. – both red and blue – enacted "significant tax cuts." The Wall Street Journal pointed out on March 13 that "the state tax cuts keep coming amid record budget surpluses."
 
There are no good reasons for Maryland to continue to be a "high tax" outlier. To the contrary, there are good reasons for it not to be. A flatter tax income tax structure, with lower overall rates, would spur job growth, provide a much-needed jolt to kick-start Marylanders' entrepreneurial spirit, begin the process of restoring a favorable business climate, and deter further outmigration.
 
We can enjoy the temporary gas tax reduction and applaud Governor Hogan's January proposal for a meaningful tax reduction – but we also can, and should, ask Governor Hogan and the Democrat-controlled legislature to do more.
 
* Randolph May is President of the Free State Foundation, a free market-oriented think tank in Rockville, MD. The views expressed in this Perspectives do not necessarily reflect the views of others on the staff of the Free State Foundation or those affiliated with it. Maryland Needs More Than A Gas Tax Holiday was published on MarylandReporter.com on March 27, 2022.

A Conservative at WOKE Left Landon

Fake it till You Make it

~ Join or die ~

The Hidden Opinions of Conservative Students - Stuck in the Liberal Dominated Educational System 

At a time of hyper politics and social media, the younger generation has never been so informed and a part of the political conversation, despite not being able to vote. Yet our world has never been so divided, making, and breaking relationships across the United States as political parties become more divided and super sensitive to every subject.

Many argue that the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election sparked “emotions and rage” throughout the world, and it continues to pick up a pace faster than the autobahn. One study claims that the world’s sea levels rose 2 feet due to the number of tears shed on that election night! 

This uncompromising, liberal dominated, media driven world we live in today makes it extremely challenging to voice your opinion, especially if they happen to go against “popular belief”. 

Being a Republican in a liberal dominated area is hard enough. Now add on attending a liberal dominated institution such as The Landon School for Boys, where Republican ideas and beliefs are deemed unacceptable and racist. Most teachers and students at the school lean left and shun anyone who has even a toe over to the Right. We are banished from their lives and characterized as an unintelligent cult with a propensity towards sparking violence.

In the Landon world students are very much afraid to express their conservative ideology and beliefs in fear of getting a bad grade from liberal teachers and concern for being singled out and berated publicly.  In the Landon Young Republicans Club a poll was taken that found 100% of students will skew their opinion when writing or speaking in class to follow the popular liberal line of thought in hopes of getting a better grade. These actions not only teach kids to lie, but also ignite fear of voicing their opinion on most topics. This also teaches them that being a Republican and going against the popular belief is unacceptable and they will be penalized for doing so. 

Being located in the DC area makes Bethesda a hotspot for politics and fills neighborhoods with politically oriented flags and signs. It is very difficult and stressful to hide in a community when your views challenge those dominant in the area. Republicans know full well that our signs
don’t last long in yards or on vehicles. Going directly against the Landon School Honor Code, as interpreted by liberal teachers and administrators, has similar repercussions for Republican students.

The idea of standing out is not one that ends well for many students. How sad that students must essentially lie about their beliefs to get the A, pass the class, or be favored by the teacher.

Earlier this year one student, a senior, was asked to cover up his tattoo to continue playing on the Landon water polo team. The tattoo which reads “Make America Great Again” is located on the upper leg thigh and not visible during games in the pool. No matter, it was found unacceptable
and triggering for opposing the political beliefs of the Landon School, team, and coaching staff.

The student refused and as an act of courage decided to stand true to his beliefs and sacrifice his position on the water polo team. This is a situation no student should be put in.

Shame on the Landon School for persecuting those with different political views.

_______________ 

The writer is a student at The Landon School for Boys in Bethesda, Maryland and chooses to remain anonymous.


Democrats and the Race Card

Chairman's Message

The only weapon the Democrats have left is the “Race Card”. 

I recently learned of a Democrat tactic to galvanize minority voters through a text message comparing voting rights efforts to “Jim Crow 2.0.”  With no support for such an outrageous assertion, Democrat leadership at both the national and local levels are turning to their last remaining hope to pull voters back to their charade, the race card. Is the Democrat Party such an abject failure that they are left with nothing but to fan the flames of hatred with baseless lies in the hopes of further dividing people?

As a Black man living in Montgomery County and the Chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party, I can confidently state that the Republican Party is not passing “Jim Crow 2.0.” and I am offended by their assertion on many levels. The Republican Party is actively reaching out to voters of all races, nationalities and religions and these voters are listening to our message of clear, common-sense solutions aimed at one goal – making their lives better.

The Democrat Party’s continued reliance on inflammatory rhetoric through social media to spread lies and intimidate the opposition is abhorrent and is wholly inconsistent with our shared American values. Those who do not agree with their extreme views are “canceled” or labeled “racist,” and ultimately silenced. I take great exception to tactics that put a premium on labels and name-calling over civil discourse and debate of the issues of the day. 

The Democrat Party is well-versed at creating a problem, taking no responsibility, and then patting themselves on the back when they discover the solution which the Republicans long ago arrived at. This tactic is stale and no longer resonates within Montgomery County or this Country. 

I am a Republican because I am tired of business as usual in Montgomery County. I am tired of these divisive tactics and lames excuses aimed at creating new problems instead of solving existing ones.

Regardless of your party affiliation, I’m  asking YOU to join with us and to say “NO!” to the insanity that has been pushed upon us and taught to our children. 

Come join us and be part of the RED WAVE in Montgomery County - Be Silent No Longer - stand up, speak up and together we will make a difference!!


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