ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Harford County Executive and Republican gubernatorial candidate David Craig released a plan Tuesday that would put Maryland on “a glide path toward eliminating the tax altogether.”
Craig said the plan would save taxpayers $2.55 billion in a phased-in approach of eliminating the income tax over several years. He also believes eliminating the income tax would make Maryland more competitive with other states in terms of stimulating economic growth and reducing population losses to other states with lower taxes.
"The citizens of Maryland now have an opportunity to vote themselves a raise," said Craig, referring to the individual income tax cuts in a statement. "My proposal will jump start economic growth, keep families together by stopping the mass exodus of Marylanders leaving to other states and unleash a flurry of new business start-up activity."
In the first phase of Craig’s plan, that would take effect in 2016, he would lower tax brackets to 4.25 percent for earners across income levels. Craig said he would then further reduce income taxes to a flat 3 percent before the tax is phased out entirely. This would result in a savings of $2.55 billion for taxpayers in the aggregate and $1,500 for married couples or $750 for individual filers.
Craig said this tax cut would be combined with reductions in Maryland's budget which has increased from $28.8 billion in actual spending in 2007 to $39.2 billion proposed for fiscal year 2015.
"We must re-think the proper role of government in Maryland," said Craig in a statement. "For too long the status quo has gone unchallenged and people are not seeing a return on investment on a range of issues including education, health care public safety and transportation.
“Are we really better off with over 70 tax, fee and toll increases than we were just seven years ago? Are the schools better, are the roads better, and are we better able to obtain health care or keep neighborhoods safer in 2014 compared to 2007?”
Craig's plan comes at a time when he is trying to gain traction in his bid to win the GOP nomination in a crowded primary that includes former Gov. Bob Ehrlich's appointment secretary Larry Hogan, Ann Arundel Del. Ron George and Charles County businessman Charles Lollar