Sen. Jennings: A Day in the Life of Gov. O'Malley's Maryland

State Sen. J.B. Jennings breaks down what recently increased and proposed tax and fee hikes mean to Maryland residents.

You may have read and heard a lot this week about

From competing statistics and numbers to terms like "new revenues," "shared sacrifice," "fair share," "job creation," and "balanced approach," there's a lot of back-and-forth across the political aisle.

I thought I'd take a different approach, by sharing exactly how the governor's proposals and actions affect a District 7 resident in your everyday life.

Let's begin with the alarm clock going off, early in the morning before work. You wake up and head into the bathroom. Before the sun is even rising, you're getting hit by Gov. O'Malley, who hopes to double the cost of that toilet flush! Your flush tax is now $30; he wants to make it $60.

After getting dressed, you enjoy a quick breakfast and a cup of coffee. One of the things I hear most often in Annapolis from my tax-and-spend colleagues is that their pet proposal will only increase fees for each citizen by "the cost of a cup of coffee."

They make it sound like it's nothing, just 50 cents here and a dollar-something there. But the reality is, you could probably own a Dunkin' Donuts if you saved up all of the "cups of coffee" that Maryland taxes cost you!

You head out to your car, and see that you're close to empty on gas. Again, with your lengthy commute to the best job you can find these days, it seems like you're always on empty. So, you drive to the nearest gas station to fill up. And if Gov. O'Malley has his way, you will pay an extra 18 cents per gallon.

Yes, while most of us pull U-turns and mind local news stations' "pump patrols" to find the cheapest gas station by a penny or two, Gov. O'Malley wants to tack on the whole 6 percent state sales tax.

Finally, you're on your way to work. It's not even 9 a.m., and Gov. O'Malley is about to dip into your wallet again: it's time for tolls. ; now,  a District 7 resident who works on the other side of the tunnels or Key Bridge has to pay $6 a day for that commute.  The tolls were just $2 each way before.

So after paying your increased tolls, let's say it's finally payday when you arrive at work. When you take a look at your ever-shrinking paycheck, it should be a reminder that Gov. O'Malley wants to reduce your deductions on mortgage interest, personal exemptions, and even charitable contributions so that you pay more state income taxes.

This doesn't apply just to the super-rich: it applies to households making a combined $100,000 a year. These tax increases hit the middle class: the husbands and wives each making $50,000 a year as nurses, teachers, deputy sheriffs and police officers, librarians, insurance agents, paralegals, mechanics, lab technicians, and the list goes on.

Once you've put in a solid morning of hard work, its lunchtime. You hop online to buy your little niece or nephew a birthday present. Thanks to Gov. O'Malley's online sales tax proposal, you'll now pay an extra $1.80 sales tax on top of that $30 gift. There goes another cup of coffee.

Now on to lunch. Maybe you pack a meal rather than grabbing a bite out with co-workers, since you've already paid an extra $3.80 in toll hikes and online sales tax today, and that's before counting the extra 18 cents a gallon on your gas fill-up

While you eat alone at your desk, maybe you decide to play a new game on your phone or download that song your friend told you about.  Yet again you will be hit with another tax, the "app tax."  This will be applied to all of those applications that we use on our smart phones to help our daily lives- the Governor just can't seem to stay out of it, can he?

As the day ends, you look forward to a nice evening. You're meeting friends for dinner after work. You order a beer, or maybe a glass of wine from District 7's very own Boordy Vineyards. You enjoy a great meal and fun conversation. And when the bill arrives,

You're finally back home. As you lay your head down and slowly drift off to sleep, you think to yourself that you’re glad the day is over because you couldn’t handle any more taxing.  But wait, there’s more. You better turn the heat down tonight, because your electric bill will have an additional $24 charge to subsidize the Governor's offshore wind farm near Ocean City. Sleep tight, Maryland.

From morning to noon to night, you've been saddled with increased tax after increased tax.  And it was only six years ago that we saw the largest tax increase in Maryland history signed into law under Gov. O'Malley.

Your Governor claims to support "everyday Marylanders" like you....and in a way, he's right. He's been with you through every step of your day.

All of these increases are his own choices in leading our state.  Although I respect him and the job he has to do as Governor, I strongly disagree with the way he is going about it.  I will continue to fight these ideas and push for more fiscally responsible ways of leading our state.

As always, I am proud to represent you.

State Sen. J.B. Jennings, a Harford County Republican, represents District 7, which includes parts of Baltimore and Harford counties.

How will the proposed taxes and fees impact your lives and/or businesses? Tell us in the comments section below.

Dr. Dave February 08, 2012 at 03:26 PM
The governor's tax on gasoline is going to be closer to $0.25 a gallon, because gas is going to hit $4 a gallon this summer - Premium is already close. The democratic pitch is these raises are necessary to balance the budget, which they have to do by the Constitution. But they're only necessary to balance the budget because they've increased their spending so much, even after offloading the pension burdens to the counties, they've jacked up spending even more. Their insatiable appetite for our money to feed their special interests is out of control! We have to take back our state before it's too late. When the businesses and jobs and money is gone, who is going to pay to feed and house and clothe millions of homeless, hungry, unemployed Marylanders? Don't look to the other states for help. That's where I and all the other former Marylanders with any sense will have moved, because we'll have decided to stop funding the Governor's and his Democratic legislators' insane budgets before that happens. Although, maybe one of the red states will step in and buy Maryland and use it for a giant casino or something. That will make us all rich, right?
Tom Barnes February 08, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Jennings - you are very cunning in your over simplification, so I applaud that. However, for all that complaining you just did, you could have laid out an extensive plan to balance the budget; perhaps offering something helpful that actually tells us something - ANYTHING - about what you would do differently. Instead, you told us about all the things we want and yet we don't want to be taxed on. That isn't helpful - that's just whining. So let me lay out what I think you want: Cut teachers and education. Cut capital building projects. Halt all road projects. Cut EMT's, Firefighters and Police. Cut and gut. That's a GOP game plan all over the country - then whine because we end up with dumb kids, high crime, low or no response to emergency services and a backup all over the beltway. WTG, champ.
Mike Rutledge February 08, 2012 at 05:51 PM
We, my significant other and myself, are in discussion on what were going to do when I retire...she already has. Everytime we talk, the cost of living in Maryland pretty much assures us we will not be living here. It's a shame. Households have to balance their budget but the government does not. It's very easy to move to another state from Maryland. We the people are sick and tired of the out-of-control spending the democrats constantly do. Then, we the "working" people are expected to give up what we have earned to bail them out. Maryland, you will not get much more from us. We are OUTTA HERE!!!
Tom Barnes February 08, 2012 at 06:10 PM
We all complain about spending but we all complain about cuts... We all complain that we need to bring in jobs, but we are willing to settle for job cuts to Maryland state and county employees just for the sake of calling it "waste" because, well, THAT will spurn growth. The reality is that it won't - unless you are talking about jobs at the newest Sonic or Gino's. There is no realism in the monaing and complaining. It's always the "me and pocketbook" whine over and over again without a clear picture of what "cut and gut" actually does. Bush taught us well about this GOP plan - and it landed us in a mess within 8 year of his travesty of a presidency.
Rusty Molnar February 08, 2012 at 11:26 PM
The state has been cutting county funds for years.the last 8 at least) Formula funding for county roads depts that was derived from the gas tax, auto registrations etc. While at the same time increasing these fees, auto registrations doubled, forced ethanol use caused a 10% increase in gas usage, therefore in the tax, sales tax increased 20%.


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