Proposed tax increase moves quickly through State Senate

Vote could come Tuesday

Tuesday in Annapolis the State Senate could pass Governor O'Malley's proposed tax increase, which is aimed at restoring funding to state services, including education and public safety.

Democrats control both the Senate and the House of Delegates, they're using the special session -- planned for just three days, to drive that tax increase through.

Republicans are trying to make the road as bumpy as they can.

"Does anybody here think that moving forward and raising your taxes is a good thing?" shouted Del. Michael Smigiel (R-Cecil County) at a rally outside the State House. 

"No!" came the response from the crowd.

Just hours earlier, union workers came together, chanting "Save Our State" and denouncing what they and the Democrats call the "doomsday" budget, that was passed during the regular session of the General Assembly.

They say the tax increase will fund vital work done by state agencies.

"We've got parole and probation agents with over 250 cases. There's no way a human being can supervise 250 offenders adequately to protect public services," said Sue Esty, of AFSCME Maryland.

In the Senate on Monday, Republicans called for cutting more funding with several proposed amendments, including one that would have cut more than $100-million by delaying the study of transit projects like the Red Line in our area, and the Purple Line in Montgomery County.

"We don't have to have that huge tax increase.  This would send a message to our citizens that we are serious that we are not going to be planning garages when we can't pay the mortgage," said State Sen. Allan Kittleman, a Republican from Howard County.

That amendment and others like it were voted down.  "This would put us behind and i think jeopardize federal funds for this project," responded Richard Madaleno (D-Montgomery).

The tax increase would affect individuals who make more than $100-thousand a year, and couples that make more than $150-thousand.

"It's a small amount to pay for living in this great state and this great country," said Senate President Thomas "Mike" Miller (D-Calvert).

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