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As Long as We Remember...

October 25, 2007

Time for Action

Chris Cavey

The citizens of Maryland will soon learn if their legislators understand the definition of representation as the Maryland General Assembly readies to convene in special session to consider the most massive tax hike in this state's history.

Gov. Martin O'Malley will, in some form yet to be determined, package together increases in sales tax, gasoline tax, personal income tax, vehicle titling tax, cigarette tax, and corporate tax. Plus he will create a new tax on commercial real estate and apply the newly increased sales tax to many everyday services.

Further insulting taxpayers is the fact the daily cost of a special session is between $34,000 and $53,000 per day the legislature meets. The current expectation is this session will last between five and 15 business days. This means up to $795,000 of your money will be spent raising your taxes.

Members in both chambers will soon learn the definition of representative government. There is no one, to my knowledge, who is pro-taxation. No one is marching to Annapolis in a planned rally supporting massive tax increases.

Legislators who vote favorably on the tax package are only serving a few special interests or bailing-out a governor who has a spending problem - not a revenue problem. These legislators are totally partisan with their vote and not in-touch with their taxpaying constituents.

Several Democrat legislators won their current seat by one percent or less in the last election. They should realize that the tide was dramatically in their favor in 2006. Even if another dramatic shift occurs, a bad tax vote today could overcome their razor thin winning margin in the 2010 balloting.

Over the next several weeks these Democrats, occupying demographically Republican seats, will have to choose between representation of a tax-hating constituency or pleasing a governor in trouble and a divided Democrat leadership. Doubtfully they will choose Maryland taxpayers.

You are not with them everyday. You do not call to threaten, cajole or promise future fame and importance, although you should. You are not perceived as their political future. You are just the once-every-four-years due diligence they abuse to maintain office in Annapolis.

We are approaching a rare opportunity for citizens to exercise their voice. One common bond in Annapolis that crosses party lines is this desire for re-election. You need to express your views on taxation - now. Make a phone call or send an email. Tell your legislator you will remember their vote at re-election time.then remember.

These upcoming votes will cost your family lots of money. You need to realize the governor of Maryland requested this session for the sole purpose of increasing revenue. He entered office with a surplus and owing many things to many people who have since collected. Now he is broke; thus you are, too.

How would you handle a child who overspent his allowance and spent all his savings, too? Would you reward him by giving him more to spend? Would you work to correct the problem? Or would you just keep giving him money to continue his spendthrift ways?

Think about what will be happening starting Monday in real-life terms. What will a tax increase cost you? Are you receiving value from this investment? Who is accountable?

If you think you can't make a change, enjoy your tax increases. If you can dial a phone, make the could save a bundle.

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