November 1, 2007

ITEP Testimony on Governor’s Plan: Improving the Income Tax


My testimony today focuses on the proposed changes to Maryland’s personal income tax put forward by Governor O’Malley and the impact that those changes would have on Marylanders at different income levels. Before I present the substance of my analysis of the Governor’s proposal, however, I would like to describe three important contexts for you and your colleagues to consider: the manner in which taxes in Maryland are currently distributed; the other elements of the Governor’s “Tax Reform Act of 2007” and the effect they would have on tax fairness; and the impact of the federal tax cuts enacted since 2001 on Marylanders. When one considers these contexts, it becomes clear that progressive personal income tax reform is an essential component of Maryland’s ongoing tax reform effort. The changes proposed by the Governor represent a laudable step in that direction. But further steps could be taken to enhance tax equity and to generate additional revenue to address the state’s projected budget deficit. I will conclude my testimony with a brief discussion of those further steps.

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