Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Dollars Coming and Going

The Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute has a preliminary analysis of the Governor’s budget that goes into a bit more detail than what the administration released or the papers ran.

Speaking of taxes, the Post reminded us recently how backward our state tax structure is:
What's needed, as we've written before, is a top-to-bottom revision of Maryland's obsolete tax system, conceived in the 1960s and barely updated since then. The elements of such an overhaul might include a more progressive personal income tax, since the current one is virtually flat and therefore favors the rich; tougher corporate income tax collections to eliminate shelters; an increase in the gas tax, last raised 15 years ago, to yield badly needed funding for the state's roads and mass transit; and a levy on services, most of which remain inexplicably untaxed even though they constitute the backbone of Maryland's economy.

More detail about how Maryland’s taxes are taking a bigger bite out of the budgets of low- and middle income taxpayers than the wealthy is available by clicking on Maryland at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. With new Comptroller Peter Franchot promising to be a champion for progressive policy and the advocates at Progressive Maryland on the job, surely tax and budget policy that serves all Marylanders is coming our way.

Former Montgomery County Council President Tom Perez has been nominated by the Governor to be Maryland Secretary of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, an post important to the working families of the state (hat tip to Steve Fine).

And Trevor Fine has pointers on the free way to find out about legislation being considered by the General Assembly: In the "Bill Indexes" part of the site select "One Or Two Subjects." All bills in the MGA are classified by one or more subjects. To find bills relating to your subject use either the drop-down subject list or, if you don't see your term listed, use the thesaurus on the bottom of the page. Back on the main page, select "Statute" to search for bills affecting a specific code section."


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