Md. Senate Votes to Raise Taxes on Wealthy

Friday, 16 Mar 2012 12:00 PM

By Greg McDonald

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The Maryland state Senate voted Thursday to increase taxes on the wealthy, prompting accusations from some lawmakers that liberals are trying to launch an election-year campaign of class warfare.  According to the Baltimore Sun, the Senate vote Thursday on a so-called “millionaire’s tax” would actually raise taxes on Marylanders earning $500,000.
 
The newspaper reported that “liberal-leaning senators” refused to support a smaller, across-the-board increase in income taxes “unless the wealthy took a special hit.”
 
Eventually, the Senate passed a larger bill that also included an increase of up to a quarter percentage point on most state taxpayers. But the higher rate increase — from the current 5.5 percent to 5.75 percent — on people making $500,000 or more would only affect about 15,000 households and increase tax payments for joint filers by $2,752 a year.
 
The bill now moves to the state House of Delegates, where members have also expressed support for asking the wealthy to pay more. Still, some lawmakers on both sides of the aisle said it was wrong to tax the wealthy at a higher rate and suggested it would drive some Marylanders to leave the state.
 
“You are taking a certain class and you are singling them out. It is not right and it is not fair,” said Democratic state Sen. Robert A. Zirkin.
 
Republican state Sen. David Brinkley agreed, but went further, telling his colleagues: “Karl Marx would be proud.” The Sun said Brinkley later apologized for the remark when one senator took offense.
 
The Sun also noted that the suggestion of class warfare in Maryland echoed the national debate between President Barack Obama and Republicans over how to reduce the federal deficit.

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