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GOP Outlines Proposed Spending Cuts

House Republicans today outlined their plan to repeal the expansion of the 6-percent state sales tax to computer services, one of the more controversial measures passed during November's special session.

GOP lawmakers want to void the computer services tax, which is projected to raise roughly $200 million a year, and instead make several spending cuts in the state's budget that would total $203 million.

The proposed spending cuts include eliminating an additional 500 vacant positions in state government; slowing spending growth at community colleges and other education initiatives; and deferring proposed funding for stem cell research projects.

"We believe that this is something that can be done in a way that is not painful," Del. Gail H. Bates (R-Howard) said.
House Minority Leader Anthony J. O'Donnell (R-Calvert) said the computer services tax is unfair and that technology companies are being "penalized for no good reason."

"That's the wrong way, we believe, to do business in Maryland," O'Donnell said. "We think it was pushed through in the dark of night and we will repeal it."

Some Democratic lawmakers also oppose the tax on computer services. Last week, some 72 members of the House of Delegates -- more than half the body's membership -- signed on to a bill calling for the tax's repeal.
But it is unclear whether that bill has enough support on the influential Ways and Means Committee to make it to a floor vote.

Leaders in both chambers of the Democrat-controlled legislature have vowed to keep the computer services tax unless some other source of revenue is found to replace it.

-- Philip Rucker

By Philip Rucker  |  January 30, 2008; 12:03 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly  
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Maybe we should tax realtors.

Posted by: PG'er | January 30, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

My state senator Rob Garagiola was the deciding vote in a 24-23 vote to pass this horrible computer tax. He has yet to produce even one communication from our district asking him to vote for this computer tax increase.

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | January 30, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Taking away money from education is never a good idea, yet it's almost always the first place Republicans go to in order to save some dough. We need a smart competitive work force and pulling money from education will ensure a continued stream of uneducated poor performers.

Posted by: InMoCo | January 30, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

InMoCo, slowing spending growth is not "taking money away" no matter how you Socialists want to spin it. Regardless, the entire Specialsessiongate is going back to court as the state High Court has agreed to hear the suit filed against the criminal wrong doings and Busch's doctored House journal. Justice just may prevail after all.

Posted by: Fleeced by O'Malley | January 30, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

So what would you call it, the absence of money that would have otherwise been allocated? You can call names, but the fact is education needs more funding. We don't pay our teachers squat, our books and materials are sub-par, but it seems you'd rather rant about the special session than tackle anything I wrote about. Good job.

Posted by: InMoCo | January 31, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

It seems that your MD Democratic Party is doing a bang-up job also. Statistics show that Maryland schools rank 3rd in the nation, which reflects positively on the State School Superintendent. But, the same guy that said that he wouldn't engage in politically motived firings (O'Malley) feels the need to amend the state constitution to fire her. What do you suppose that's going to cost taxpayers? I have no idea myself but I'm sure it's enough to buy plenty of textbooks.

Posted by: Fleeced | January 31, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

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