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Special Session Round-Up for Thursday

Here is a selection of news and links from around the web that supplement The Post's coverage of the Maryland special session as of Thursday, Nov. 1.

A Howard County delegate has proposed a bill that would give control of "tip-jar gaming" to the state despite opposition from county officials, according to The Herald-Mail... O'Malley's proposed corporate tax hike is "one of the most damaging ways" to provide education funding, a Maryland Chamber of Commerce accountant said yesterday, reports The Diamondback... Some property management firms will have to pass on tax costs to renters if their services become taxable, an industry professional tells the Carroll County Times... Republican Del. Tony McConkey says the budget crunch is "a crisis that was created to raise taxes," reports the Montgomery County Sentinel... Laurel clergyman Kevin McGhee, a pastor at Bethany Community Church, discusses his concerns about gambling with the Prince George's Gazette. "'The more you get to know the facts about this particular industry, the more you'll be against it"... Republican response to O'Malley's calls for consensus was at times strongly worded. Sen. Nancy Jacobs calls the governor's speech yesterday "the flattest speech I've ever heard by a governor," according to the Gazette... An article on the PressBox web site examines the current state of Maryland's racing industry... Republican Sen. Andrew Harris says O'Malley is trying to "strong-arm" contractors and suppliers into supporting his tax plan, reads an article in the Baltimore Examiner... "I hate the whole idea that all we can think of doing, when government and business get together to try and build commerce, expand economies and increase tax revenue, is offer more opportunities for people to gamble," writes Baltimore Sun columnist Dan Rodricks... A Sun editor comes to a similar conclusion. "Mr. O'Malley recognized the deficit as a threat to the state's quality of life. He's right, but it's hard not to see legalized slot machines as a potential threat, too. Is this really the best way to finance government? So far, the case is not convincing"... "I have trouble with all tax increases," Del. Ted Sophocleus, said in an Annapolis Capital story. "If I just listened to everyone who wanted something, our tax rate would be out of sight"...

From The Post, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett has another tax proposal to rival O'Malley's, writes Philip Rucker.

If you've seen something you'd like to add, post a summary and link below.

-- Compiled by David P. Marino-Nachison

By Washington Post Editors  |  November 1, 2007; 6:04 PM ET
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Next: Heated Testimony on Taxes


What is striking to me, after testifying before the Joint Committee yesterday, is the complacency of the progressive legislators about voting for the meat and potatoes of the O'Malley plan, a 20% increase in the regresssive state sales tax. Their excuses range from "it raises a lot of money," to "better it than the income tax<" to "this package is the best we are going to get from O'Malley." How can these "progressives" vote for a large hike in a regressive tax like the sales tax? Don't they know we already have one bridge over the Chesapeake Bay named for a Governor who did not get a second term because he voted for a sales tax hike---Governor Lane? Our state education system needs new leadership before we toss more money at it. Now, after a 8-4 vote by the state Board of Education, instead of passing tests on the 3Rs to graduate, a student can do a R & R project to graduate.

Posted by: Robin Ficker of Robin RealtyWht | November 2, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

If you don't think hard times, including the return of inflation are around the corner, look at the stock market yesterday. The Dow down 362 pts. Citigroup, the world't largest bank short on capital. Crude oil near $100 a barrel. Utility bills doubled. O'Malley's reaction---raise the regressive state sales tax. His Dad, an attorney in Montgomery County, told me many times that the sales tax was a regressive tax and he was opposed to it. It's a shame Martin did't listen to a smarter man than he--his Dad, may he rest in peace.

Posted by: Robin Ficker of Robin Realty | November 2, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

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