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State Lawmakers Pitch Taxing Services to Pay for Kirwan Recs

Rachel Baye

State lawmakers have proposed a new sales tax on professional services as a way to pay for the Kirwan Commission’s recommended school system overhaul.

Under the bill introduced Thursday, services ranging from lawyers to contractors to haircuts would be taxed at 5%. The existing sales tax on tangible goods would be cut from 6% to 5%.

House Majority Leader Eric Luedtke said the plan is expected to raise about $2.6 billion a year starting in 2025. That would cover most of the state’s share of the proposed school reforms that originated with the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations.

“We deserve to have the best schools in the country. Our kids deserve to have access to a great education,” Luedtke said. Using the proposed tax to pay for the plan is “not the only option. It’s one option on the table.”

Governor Larry Hogan attacked the plan at a press conference Thursday.

“It is a tax on working families. It’s a tax on single moms,” he said. “It’s not ever going to happen while I’m governor. I can promise you.”

Rachel Baye is a senior reporter and editor in WYPR's newsroom.
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