Say What? Maryland Governor Cites Job Cutting Federal Government Program as Defense of Tax Increase

October 29, 2007

Last Friday, the Tax Foundation held a press conference in Maryland to discuss a plan to increase taxes on Maryland’s families and businesses. We released a report showing the dramatic fall Maryland would take in the State Business Tax Climate Index and the significant tax burden increase Marylanders would face if the plan was implemented.

In response came this bizarre statement, given by a spokesperson for Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, to the Baltimore Sun:

O’Malley spokesman Rick Abbruzzese disputed the groups’ claims, saying the governor’s plan will result in 83 percent of Marylanders’ paying less or the same in their taxes and that the state will actually grow jobs due to the military’s base realignment and closure plan.

“In terms of hurting the state’s changes at attracting and expanding businesses, we actually know from experience that the opposite is true,” he said. “Maryland is expected to get 40,000 to 60,000 BRAC-related jobs in the next few years … And the things we have proposed actually keeps us competitive with other states.”

Two questions:

1. What “experience” proves that higher taxes lead to increased competitiveness?

2. What does the Pentagon’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) plan have to do with taxation? Or business competitiveness? And how is a plan that closed 33 military facilities a strong defense for a state’s competitiveness?

A special prize to anyone who can provide a good answer to either question (not to be confused with the “special prize” Virginia and Pennsylvania will likely receive in the form of transplants from Maryland if Mr. O’Malley’s plan is enacted).

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