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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Tax cuts a top matter before Maryland lawmakers

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — One of the major decisions facing Maryland legislators this session is whether to cut taxes, which ones and by how much, the General Assembly’s chief budget analyst told lawmakers Tuesday.

Warren Deschenaux briefed lawmakers on the two fiscal panels that steer state spending about Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s $42 billion budget for the next fiscal year. Lawmakers in the Democratic-led General Assembly will be working on the budget for most of the session.

Hogan campaigned on cutting taxes and improving the state’s business climate, often criticizing his predecessor, former Gov. Martin O’Malley, for pushing through a wide variety of tax increases and fees, which he said scared away businesses. Hogan has proposed about $480 million in tax cuts over five years. A commission formed by the General Assembly has made its own tax-relief proposals, geared mostly to making the state more competitive with neighboring states for attracting and keeping businesses. It would add up to about $380 million, if all 14 recommendations are fully implemented.


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