Wide-ranging session kicks off with O'Malley suggesting 1 cent sales tax increase
Even before the Maryland General Assembly convened Wednesday, Gov. Martin O'Malley plunged lawmakers into the issue of tax increases by floating the idea of a penny increase in the sales tax.
In a pre-session radio interview, he said raising the tax from 6 cents on the dollar to 7 cents would close the projected $1.1 billion budget shortfall.
"Frankly, if I had my druthers, I'd rather do the one penny on the sales tax," the Democrat said. "It gives us flexibility - have that address our operating needs and then transition that into the sort of revenue stream that then allows us to do greater bonding capacity for the transportation. That's what I'd like to do."
O'Malley made the remarks during an interview with WEAA-FM's Marc Steiner in Annapolis.
In 2007, at O'Malley's insistence, the General Assembly raised the tax from 5 cents to 6 cents.