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.