After Tax Foundation Rebuke, Maryland Governor Admits to Stating Incorrect Virginia Tax Rate

July 12, 2012

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s office conceded today that a table on the Governor’s official blog incorrectly stated Virginia’s sales tax rate to be 6.5 percent when it is actually just 5 percent. Because Maryland’s sales tax rate is 6 percent, the erroneous tax rate made the difference in painting a picture of Maryland being competitive with its neighboring states.

The admission of error came as a direct result of a Tax Foundation criticism of O’Malley’s blog post. O’Malley’s office also corrected its blog to include Delaware and its zero sales tax rate, which had been omitted in their original post.

The Tax Foundation post, “Maryland Governor Misstates State Tax Comparisons,” is here.

“We take a lot of pride in giving accurate information,” said Tax Foundation economist Scott Drenkard to the Washington Times, which reported that O’Malley spokesman Raquel Guillory “admitted that the blog post had been incorrect on Virginia.”

“Maryland’s tax system is not a competitive one, so I can understand the pressure O’Malley is under to show that it’s somehow not that bad,” said Tax Foundation Vice President for State Projects Joseph Henchman. “We’re still critical of his approach of picking a few data points while missing the overall picture, but it crossed the line when his office put out wrong data on other states’ tax rates.”

Drenkard has recorded a podcast explaining the blog rebuttal here.

More Tax Foundation research on Maryland is here.


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