June 25, 2018
Politics & Opinion
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Lowering Taxes

Bryan Simonaire
Bryan Simonaire's picture
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February 21, 2018

The federal action of reducing taxes will positively affect nearly everyone in Maryland. However, because Maryland is a high-taxed state, local taxes will increase significantly if no action is taken in Annapolis this session.

Our delegation is vigorously working with Governor Hogan to hold Maryland taxpayers harmless. This means that if we get the legislation right, you will not pay any more in Maryland taxes than you did last year, and you will benefit from the federal tax reduction.

The range of savings depends on your particular earnings, deductions, family size, etc., but on average, most people should see a decrease of federal taxes, anywhere from $500 to $2,500. That’s real savings.

If Annapolis does not take any action, the state will receive nearly $500 million in extra tax revenues (more taxes paid out of your pocket), thus negating any positive actions made at the federal level.

Many leaders in Annapolis initially salivated over keeping the extra money for their pet projects and programs. They thought this was a wonderful time to get extra money and just blame the Republicans in the federal government.

While that idea sounded politically expedient for them, we would not let those actions go unchallenged. People already have enough money being sucked out of their pockets. We vocally objected and promoted giving money back to the people. Since that time, leadership has changed its tune, especially in an election year.

We are looking to return your money through decoupling the standard deduction, increasing our state’s personal exemptions, lowering the tax rates, increasing our state’s standard deduction and through many other ideas. We are evaluating the best approach at this time. While there are a few whacky ideas being floated around, there are several solid approaches.

For example, the decoupling of the standard deduction allows Marylanders to choose a method on their Maryland tax forms: standard deduction or itemization. Under current law, whatever method you choose at the federal level, you must also use at the state level. Given the higher standard deductions and fewer itemized allowable deductions at the federal level, many may choose the standard deduction.

However, the result of the federal tax cut will create a higher adjusted gross income being reported to Maryland. It would be helpful to allow federal standard deductions while also allowing Marylanders to itemize deductions that are no longer allowed at the federal level. Maryland has a much smaller standard deduction. Of course, Maryland could increase the standard deduction to help offset the taxes as well.

We as a delegation will work hard to ensure that your taxes are significantly lowered from the amount that is projected now. As it has been said many times, “Maryland doesn’t have a revenue problem; it has a spending problem.”

As long as there are big government politicians who think government can and should be in everything, there will always be an insatiable appetite to spend your money.

If you have any comments or suggestions, contact me or my staff at 410-841-3658 or bryan.simonaire@senate.state.md.us.

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