Some Maryland Lawmakers Hope to Address Deficit with Progressive Tax Reform

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With a budget deficit of roughly $1.5 billion looming, the time has come for comprehensive reforms to Maryland's tax system. As the Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute explains, the alternative - trying to slash state spending by that amount - would be disastrous, "[impacting] in some negative way almost every family in Maryland."

Fortunately, it appears that policymakers in Maryland are now beginning to consider meaningful tax reforms, such as enacting combined reporting to combat corporate tax avoidance or expanding the state's personal income tax brackets and raising income tax rates for wealthier individuals and families. While these changes would generate much needed revenue and enable the state to continue to provide vital public services, they could also make Maryland's tax system much more equitable. As the Washington Post points out, Maryland's personal income tax brackets are among "the flattest in the nation", meaning that working-class families pay much the same rate as the ultra-rich. Other options for closing the budget gap, such as an increase in the sales tax, are available but as a recent op-ed in the Baltimore Sun notes, that approach would put a "disproportionate burden on the backs of those least able to pay."

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