- “Maryland’s Medical Malpractice Landscape After McQuitty” [Elizabeth Hafey, Miles & Stockbridge]
- A skeptical view of state intervention on pharmaceutical pricing [Marc Kilmer/MPPI, related: Dan Menefee/Maryland Reporter]
- Bad ideas, getting closer: “DC’s Paid Family Leave Bucks the Trend—and Economics” [Ike Brannon, Cato]
- Maryland should adopt the idea of an executive agency to analyze and review regulation, along lines of federal OIRA [Randolph May, Free State Foundation]
- Yet another Maryland shaken-baby case seems awfully dependent on autopsy inferences [Washington Post, background on Washington Post series; more background]
- “Here are some easy changes. Maryland is now the only state to have both estate and inheritance taxes.” [Dee Hodges, Maryland Reporter]
Tag Archives: taxes
Gallup finds that even after controlling for other factors, there’s a “strong relationship” between total tax burden and the level of desire to leave a state [Steve Malanga, City Journal] And just a reminder of its relevance to us: “Maryland Has the 7th Highest State and Local Tax Burden” [Randolph May, Free State Foundation]
- Great coverage of my redistricting reform speech at Hagerstown Rotary by Tamela Baker in the Herald-Mail. And you can listen to me on this subject with Kojo Nnamdi of WAMU/public radio and on Frederick County’s “Eye on Our Community” with Kai Hagen;
- Even as doubts mount about shaken-baby syndrome, Jefferson, Md. dad gets 20-year sentence [Kelsi Loos, Frederick News-Post; Washington Post via, Reuters, USA Today]
- New study: “The Case for Common Sense Regulatory Reforms to the Maryland Code” [Nick Zaiac, Maryland Public Policy Institute]
- No, let’s not: some MoCo lawmakers want to bestow voting franchise in school board elections on non-citizen immigrants and 16-17 year olds [Christine Stoddard, Maryland Reporter]
- “Oyster Recycling Subsidy and Other Crazy Maryland Tax Credits” [Preston Cooper, Economics 21]
- Walkersville: no strict liability when noise from lawful fireworks display causes cows to stampede in nearby barn [Eugene Volokh]
“In the ensuing 1794 Whiskey Rebellion…the locus for noncompliance and violence against tax agents was largely western Pennsylvania, but not entirely. Early local newspapers reported disturbances, such as the erection of 1776-style townsquare liberty poles, in Cumberland, Hagerstown, and Middletown….At one point, even Frederick was tense — rumor had ‘the Whiskey Boys’ headed that way, to empty its state arsenal of weapons.” — James H. Bready, “Maryland Rye: A Whiskey the Nation Long Fancied — But Now Has Let Vanish,” Maryland Historical Magazine, Winter 1990. “To a legion of fanciers, the best Maryland Rye was on a par with whatever else might be nominated as the ne plus ultra of American whiskey.”
For any real chance for Baltimore to bounce back economically, you need to cut its high property taxes. Reihan Salam argues the case, drawing on work by Stephen Walters (Loyola Maryland) and others. As a percentage of value Baltimore’s property taxes are not as extraordinarily high as Detroit’s, but in both cities the tax has contributed to severe problems of property abandonment.
From a Facebook discussion, Bruce Godfrey:
One other effect of Baltimore city’s high property taxes is the disproportionate concentration of nonprofit organizations in the city. These nonprofits are exempt not only from income taxes on their operations, but every asset they own is exempt from the state real estate and personal property taxes, which are more than twice those of the county surrounding it.
More: Lengthy new piece on Baltimore abandonments by Washington Post reporter Terrence McCoy never mentions property taxes. So they must not be a problem!
This J.D. Tuccille piece at Reason has a familiar feel, given the bid by some of our own lawmakers here in Maryland to increase cigarette smuggling, and give crime gangs a giant new source of revenue, by raising tobacco taxes further toward New York levels, and far above the levels charged a half-hour’s drive to the south. Earlier here and here.
More: Village Voice longform (“Smuggled, Untaxed Cigarettes Are Everywhere in New York City”)
In a Saturday editorial, the Washington Post calls for further hiking Maryland’s tobacco tax so as to push the state’s smuggled-cigarettes rate, currently around 20%, closer to New York state’s Bloomberg-influenced, nation-leading 57%. The New York policy has proved a highly effective way to bring petty and not-always-so-petty crime to New Yorkers’ everyday lives. With I-95, I-70 and other corridors, Maryland is already one of the most accessible states for contraband smugglers, and if the Post has its way organized gangs on the streets of Baltimore stand to get their hands on a new cash engine that, as one Brooklyn distributor is said to have boasted on wiretap, is “better than selling drugs.” What could go wrong?
P.S. The Post’s editorial never even mentions smuggling or evasion of the law, let alone bring up the Eric Garner case in Staten Island, although the Post’s own news analysts and opinion writers have repeatedly explored the role of taxes in that case. Is it too much to ask of the Post editorialists that they keep up with their own paper? [rewritten and expanded; cross-posted at Cato at Liberty]
- Hogan cites “inclusive message focused on ‘fiscal responsibility and common sense,” downplaying of social issues for what’s now being widely hailed as the biggest upset victory of Election 2014 [CBS, auto-plays] “Some Democrats say they ‘got the message’ from Hogan’s election [Len Lazarick]
- Finally, a decent chance for liquor sales reform in Montgomery County? [David Lublin, The Seventh State]
- “Ideas for improving Maryland for small business” [Luke McGowan]
- Home “ripped apart” in Damascus as party-raid police get frisky [Radley Balko]
- For new chair of Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, lefty Jamie Raskin (D-Silver Spring) or trial lawyer Bobby Zirkin (D-Baltimore County)? [Josh Kurtz, Center Maryland]
- In Supreme Court oral argument on Maryland counties’ taxation of income earned out of state, Justice Scalia was one who seemed sympathetic to the tax collector’s side [Daniel Fisher]
The Washington Post’s reporter, Arelis Hernández, doesn’t seem quite to realize just how outrageous this story is about churches angling for exemptions from a state-mandated stormwater fee in Prince George’s County:
Thomas and other pastors also have agreed to start “green” ministries to maintain the improvements at their churches, and to preach environmentally focused sermons to educate their congregations.
In exchange for the commitments both as to physical upgrades to church property and the right sorts of exhortation addressed to their congregations, the churches are getting very tangible benefits, some coming directly out of the pockets of Prince George’s County taxpayers (emphasis added):
So far, about 30 churches have applied. Forestville Redeemer was the first. They are planning to install rain barrels, build rain gardens, plant trees and, perhaps, replace their blacktop with permeable pavement. The government will cover most of the cost. In return, a fee that was estimated at $744 a year will be reduced to “virtually nothing,” Ortiz said.
Organized churches play a central role in P.G. County politics, so it is not especially surprising to see a special deal cut for them. What we might not have expected was how openly pastors were willing to trade the content of sermons for government cash on the (rain) barrel. More coverage: WBAL, Derek Hunter/Daily Caller, and Ira Stoll, who writes:
But the bigger point is a problem with big government and taxes in general. The more burdensome the taxes are, the greater is the temptation of those crushed by them to trade their freedom and independence for a discount on them, and the more power the government has to dictate behavior. The tax becomes not a way to raise revenue for the government, but a method for exerting control.
Let’s hope religion-in-public-life pundits don’t pull their punches on exactly how bad this sort of deal is. They should be at least as upset as those of us on the secular side.
[cross-posted and adapted from Secular Right]