How a government raises money and the programs that it chooses to fund is a reflection of the values of that government and the elected officials who make those decisions. The League of Women Voters strongly supports many big-ticket items that make up the largest portion of spending by the state of Maryland: Health 25%, K-12 Education 20%, Higher Education 13%, Human Services 9% and Transportation 10%.  Yet, our revenue sources aren’t adequate to pay for the programs that we currently fund, let alone new or enhanced programs. We need an additional $761 million in revenue just to fund current planned expenditures. This deficit will likely grow to $2.7 billion within 4 years unless changes are made. [1]

Through study and consensus, LWVMD adopted a position supporting a fiscal system that produces adequate and timely revenues to finance planned expenditures. We also adopted an Equity/Fairness Principal defined as a progressive tax – a graduated tax which will collect a greater percentage of income from those with higher income than from those with lower incomes.

We often hear that Maryland is a high tax state - yet if you add up all of the taxes and fees charged in Maryland and compare that to the total taxes and fees paid by individuals in other states, Maryland falls right in the middle as the 25th highest out of 50 states and the District of Columbia.[2] Currently the wealthiest Marylanders pay a smaller share of their income in state and local taxes than middle and low-income taxpayers[3] and business taxes are a smaller share of our economy than in most states.[4]

Fair Share Maryland, a project of the Maryland Center on Economic Policy, has developed a plan that will raise $1.6 billion in new revenue, cut taxes for 1.3 million Marylanders with a family income of $106,000 or less, and support local Maryland-based businesses by ensuring a level playing field so that their large corporate competitors are also paying their fair share in taxes.

Based on our positions, the League of Women Voters will be collaborating with Fair Share Maryland to help pass their package of bills. If you would like to engage in advocacy on this issue, please contact Nancy Soreng at [email protected].

[1] Source: Maryland Center on Economic Policy

[2] Source: Tax Policy Center FY2021 State and Local Finance Data

[3] Source: Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

[4] Source: Ernst & Young, FY 2021 COST report state and local taxes

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