In the eight years that Democrats Gov. Martin O’Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown have been in charge of Maryland, statewide and local taxes and fees have crept up. As Brown runs for governor against Republican Larry Hogan, taxation has become a dominate issue. In a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll released last week, the largest number of likely voters picked taxes as their top issue, and it’s the one area where voters said they trusted Hogan more than Brown.
Here’s a list of some of the most notable tax and fee increases in Maryland:
• Sales tax rate increase: Lawmakers voted to increase the sales tax from 5 percent to 6 percent.
• Vehicle excise tax rate increase: This increased the tax for titling a car from 5 percent to 6 percent. The fee for a certificate of title also increased.
• Increase in tobacco tax: The tax on a pack of cigarettes went from $1 per pack to $2.
• Income tax: Lawmakers overhauled the state’s personal income tax structure to establish higher rates for the state’s higher-earning residents, while raising exemptions for low- and middle-income residents.
• Corporate income tax rate increase: The rate increased from 7 percent to 8.25 percent.
• The “millionaire’s tax”: This was a three-year surcharge on the income of the state’s millionaires. It expired in 2011.
• Sales tax on alcoholic beverages: The rate increased from 6 percent to 9 percent.
• Income tax: Lawmakers increased the personal income tax rate for residents who make more than $100,000 or couples who make more than $150,000.
• Repeal of the Telecommunications tax credit for utilities
• Tobacco products rate increase: This increased the tax on tobacco products other than cigarettes.
• Bay restoration and storm-water management fees: Lawmakers enabled local jurisdictions to collect a fee to cover the cost of removing pollutants before reaching the Chesapeake Bay. Republicans have dubbed this a “rain tax.”
• Motor fuel tax: Since 1992, Maryland taxed gas 23.5 cents per gallon. Lawmakers decided to increase that to 27 cents in 2013 and then allow the tax to continue to increase each year to reflect the Consumer Price Index.
Source: Maryland Department of Legislative Services.