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Hogan says he will unveil a tax cut proposal

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Gov. Larry Hogan (File Photo).

Some Maryland taxpayers could see their state income taxes go down under a proposal Gov. Larry Hogan says he will unveil in January.

Hogan, in a brief statement before the Board of Public Works meeting Wednesday, said he would introduce legislation next month that would mitigate the potential negative effects on state taxpayers because of changes made to two major federal tax deductions and exemptions in legislation set to be signed into law by President Trump.

“That’s my gift to Maryland taxpayers,” Hogan said.

Hogan did not provide specifics or a copy of the legislation.

The Maryland Democratic Party, some Democrats running for governor and a left-leaning state economic policy group criticized Hogan’s announcement as short-sighted or worse.

“There were mountains of evidence showing that this tax scam would hurt Maryland families, but Governor Hogan sat on the sidelines and didn’t lift a finger to stop it,” said Fabion Seaton, a spokesman for the Maryland Democratic Party. “The ink isn’t even dry in D.C., and Governor Hogan’s answer to this irresponsible GOP tax scam is apparently another irresponsible GOP tax scam. You can’t make this stuff up.”

Seaton said Hogan sat on the sidelines while federal lawmakers considered a bill that would have a dramatic impact on state taxpayers.

“Now he announces this fictitious plan that is going to solve the problem,” Seaton said. “We need more than that.”

A spokesman for the governor chided Democrats for opposing the proposed cuts.

“Ha,” Douglass Mayer, a Hogan spokesman, said when told of the statement from the Democratic Party. “Going on the record against protecting Maryland taxpayers, interesting strategy. Noted.”

Mayer said the bill would only affect new revenues that the state was not collecting prior to the passage of the federal law.

Under a proposal expected to become law, changes to the federal tax code would reduce or eliminate deductions and exemptions related to personal income and state and local property taxes. Those deductions and exemptions are particularly important to Maryland taxpayers.

An exact analysis of the effects on Maryland taxpayers is being conducted by the Office of the Comptroller.

Hogan said the changes could result in “hundreds of millions of dollars in additional state revenue.”

“Our goal is to leave this money in the pockets of Maryland state taxpayers,” Hogan said.

Benjamin Orr, executive director of the left-leaning Maryland Center for Economic Policy, said the full effect of the federal tax cuts aren’t known but he and others expect later cuts to federal services, including Social Security and Medicaid.

“Those cuts will likely be much larger than any new revenues the state might realize,” Orr said.

“The state is going to need to try and pick up the slack that Congress creates so we catch at least some of the people who are going to fall through the cracks,” said Orr.


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