The House voted 294 to 83 yesterday to grant a Maryland income tax exemption to an estimated 125 members of Congress who maintain homes in the Maryland suburbs.
It is the second time around for the measure, which was approved by both chambers of Congress last year only to die when it was vetoed by President Ford. The revived measure now goes to the Senate for action.
Virginia and the District of Columbia laws grant members of Congress an outright exemption from state and local income tax.
In Maryland, however, the law requires lawmakiers to file annual tax returns, with tax payments to the congressmen's home states credited, in most cases against what is owed to Maryland.
Reps. Robert E. Bauman (R-Md.) and Thomas N. Kindness (R-Ohio) mounted a futile attempt to block the bill yesterday, contending it is the prerogative of the Maryland General Assembly, not Congress to deal with state taxation.
"Far be it from me having served there (in Annapolis, as a state senator) for three years, to defend the actions of the legislature of Maryland, one way or another," Bauman declared.
Several House members said that, as homeowners, they contribute generously to the tax coffers of the Washington area, and they should not be subjected to a threat of double taxation on their incomes.
Rep. Teno Roncolio (D-Wyo.) said his property tax bill in suburban Virginia has totaled $21,000 in the seven years he has served in Congress.
"I'd like to see the capital moved someplace like Colorado (which adjoins Wyoming ) - that would take care of Maryland and Virginia," Roncolio said.
Roncolio predicted the Washington newspapers would treat the exemption bill as another privilege Congress was voting for itself. The measure was sponsored by Rep. George E. Danielson (D-Calif.), whose local home is in Virginia.
Re. Clarence J. Brown Jr. (R-Ohio) said that if Maryland wants to tax the salaries of congressmen, perhaps Congress should enact a controversial tax on incomes earned by suburbanities in the District of Columbia. "Perhaps the commuter tax makes sense after all," said Brown, who lives in Bethesda.
All six Maryland representatives who were present yesterday voted against the bill. The seventh, Rep. Newton I. Steers Jr. (R), is hospitalized.
Most of the Virginia delegation voted for the bill, including Rep. Herbert E. Harris (D). Voting against it were Rep. Joseph L. Fisher (D), M. Caldwell Butler (R) and Paul S. Trible Jr. (R).