MCTL Joan Fidler tesitifed March 10, 2015, in Annapolis at a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee on HB 240:
I am Joan Fidler, President of the Montgomery County Taxpayers League and I am here to testify against HB 240, State Individual Income Tax – Rate Changes.
The Taxpayers League registers its opposition to the bill as we see no rationale for creating new tax brackets and raising tax rates. There is a new administration in town that won explicitly on the issue of taxes. Does anyone think there is an outside chance that the Governor will sign a bill that raises taxes?
However, HB 240 is to be commended in one aspect: It will decrease taxes for over 90% of taxpayers, who will now gain 80 cents a week in tax cuts—$40 a year. However, the rub lies for those making more than $500,000. It may make for a good sound bite to raise taxes for the “rich”, in this instance 18,000 Maryland taxpayers, many of whom live in Montgomery County. But does it make for good and fair governance?
So what will this bill do? The very Fiscal and Policy Note accompanying the bill states that small businesses will be “meaningfully impacted” by the legislation. Doesn’t this fly in the face of the recently issued report by the Augustine Commission which strongly supports making Maryland a business-friendly state? Will raising tax rates for small business, limited liability companies and sole proprietorships encourage the establishment of new businesses in the State? Are these small businesses even aware that this bill is in the works?
To give our argument a more parochial spin, Montgomery County is looked upon by legislators as the economic engine of the State. We are often derided for that reason when we ask for much needed funding for school construction or transit growth. Raising taxes in the higher brackets affects Montgomery County more than it does other counties. With 16% of the state’s population, it supplies 25% of the state’s income tax revenue.
Why provide an impetus for the gradual exodus of the upper 1% of taxpayers and their tax payments out of Montgomery County and Maryland? .
Enough is enough. Don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg.