Archive for May, 2012
Isnt it frightening to hear the words “200 million in cuts to education” or hundreds of millions in cuts to services such as police departments and libraries? It is important to note that these “cuts” are cuts in projected spending, not real belt tightening cuts to existing departmental budgets. The total budget passed by the legislative body being called a doomsday budget is by no means a true doomsday budget, it includes $700 million in growth! That’s right, growth!
According to the Department of Legislative Services, even with the cuts included in the “Doomsday Budget”, total state spending still increases by nearly $700 million over last year. Total state spending in FY 2012 was $34.7 billion, in FY 2013 total spending increased to $35.4 billion.
Education spending under this budget grows from $4,948.70 in FY 2012 to $4,950.50 in FY 2013- this is by no means a cut to education. Furthermore, the reconvening special taxing session of the General Assembly will result in the shift of teacher pensions from the state to the counties which will ultimately result in additional county tax increases.
Over the course of this Governor’s administration, Annapolis’s solution to the state’s fiscal problems is to dig deeper into the citizens’ pockets. Taxes, tolls, and fees have increased multiple times since Governor O’Malley came to office and spending has increased by over $1 billion every year. This year was no exception. During the regular 90 day legislative session, Governor O’Malley’s budget as proposed, included over $300 million in higher taxes and fees and shifted $238 million of the costs of teacher pensions to the counties, guaranteeing a tax increase at the local level as well. This is money Marylanders can ill afford at this time of economic leanness. Because his tax package was not passed, we will convene again on Monday at a cost of over 20 thousand dollars a day to overburdened taxpayers, in order to “ get it done” as he has been quoted.
Recent polls show that 96% of Marylanders feel that they pay enough taxes. They are now under the shadow of even more tax hikes and I promise you that I have heard from hundreds of my constituents who have asked for NO SPECIAL TAXING SESSION. For this reason I will not be supporting any tax increases, or any part of the Governor’s special taxing session agenda.