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O'Malley Signs Tax Increase
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May 22, 2012
Governor Martin O’Malley completed the last act Tuesday in the carefully choreographed drama that was the recent special legislative session of the General Assembly. He signed the bills lawmakers passed. WYPR’s Joel McCord has this report.
The bills increase income taxes on the top 14 percent of Maryland wage earners and dramatically raise taxes on cigars and smokeless tobacco products. They also reverse the $500 million worth of spending cuts to education, public safety and Medicaid in the budget that passed in the regular session.
O’Malley called the budget package a balanced approach that is fiscally responsible.
“It is not a Democratic or Republican idea but an American truth and an economic fact that in order to create jobs a modern economy requires modern investments. So we have taken a balanced approach so that we can make those investments.”
Republicans, however, argued during the session that the taxes would strangle business and slow economic growth.
The bills were among 93 the governor signed today, including the Family Farm Preservation Act, which exempts farms valued at $5 million or less from the estate tax and reduces the tax rate on farms worth more than that. Another bill makes it easier for firefighters who contract cancer to get worker’s compensation benefits and another bans arsenic in chicken feed.
I’m Joel McCord, reporting in Annapolis for 88.1, WYPR.
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