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August 12, 2016

You're Kidding, A Taxless Week

Harry M. Covert

I missed out on the downtown Frederick promotion tour of the upcoming statewide sales tax holiday. Except for some local officials, I wasn't alone.


This weeklong shopping taxless day, according to Maryland officials who pay attention to such details will create a $6.4 million loss to state coffers. Please don’t cry.


Purpose of the “quote-unquote” holiday is to generate sales for downtown businesses. State legislators came up with this nine years ago, following 17 other states attempting to help people prepare their children for back-to-school supplies and new clothing styles.


The almost $7 million tax loss is a drop in the bucket state wide. The money wizards will be sure to find quick ways to tap pocketbooks. Just wait and see. Transparency? Only if it becomes political or some good journalist starts inquiring.


It was pleasant to see the happy warriors from Annapolis enjoying their time in Frederick among store proprietors. Truly it is always a delight to see the governor and the comptroller together these days. Perhaps these party opposites will be together at the next campaign time.


Advance gossip is spreading that Guv'nor Larry Hogan, a Republican, may have opposition from "Controller" Peter Franchot, a Democrat. The latter unceremoniously ended the career of the late beloved mayor-governor-comptroller William Donald Schaefer. He was nice about it, though.


As an aside, I enjoyed conversing many times with Mr. Schaefer, including witty letters. While he was the driving force to bring the Ravens to Baltimore, Governor Schaefer was instrumental in getting the football stadium built as well as Oriole Park at Camden Yards. I asked him once during dinner at Haussner's, famed restaurant near downtown in Highlandtown, if the new stadium would be named for him. "Not enough friends for that to happen," he said.


The sales tax holiday is good for shoppers and starts Saturday and ends August 20. Clothing or footwear of $100 and less are exempt from the six percent sales tax.


Wouldn't it be nice to be free of taxes at eateries of all sorts and automobiles and groceries and pharmaceuticals? All right, I'm daydreaming again. Can't blame me for trying.


The questions will arise from government spenders throughout Frederick County. First, to come up with tax-savings they'd say loudly how can we pay for all the new schools and gymnasiums and increase teacher remuneration, get new or used fire trucks, build some bridges or repair streets and roads and repair city, town and county buildings? They always find a way to finagle funds.


Perhaps police and sheriff's deputies could write more speeding tickets and the courts impose bigger fines. Forgive me, these last two suggestions are uncalled for. However, I know on good authority they’ve been used previously in various jurisdictions. They’ve been known as quotas.


We can keep paying taxes on groceries and fast food and business fees. I can think of more things to tax. I won't though. Don't want to give any funny ideas for those in command. There are too many anyway.


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