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Maryland Increases Taxes on Upper 14 Percent

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Just so you know, the tax package was passed in the General Assembly’s special session on Wednesday. The upper 14 percent of income earners in the state will pay more in taxes in 2012.

Maryland already boasts the nation’s highest income per capita (which is $34,849, by the way) , and now it will tie Washington, D.C. for fourth highest tax on the top bracket of earners. The consolation is that we’ve averted the storied “doomsday” budget.

According to The Washington Post, single and joint filers of six-figure incomes will see an increase in their marginal tax rate of anywhere from .25 to .75 percent.

It’s good, it’s bad, I don’t know. But the tax increase didn’t save the budget all by itself. Also passed was a measure to shift more responsibility to cover the costs of teacher pensions to the counties. Maybe next the counties will pass a measure to ask the cities to cover those pensions. And then the cities will just have a bake sale or something.

DA Jack McCoy’s Triumphant Return to Baltimore!

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Sam Waterston (aka District Attorney Jack McCoy) receives humanitarian award from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthOkay, I know that saying that District Attorney Jack McCoy stopped by Baltimore last week is stretching it a bit… mostly because McCoy isn’t technically “real” or whatever. But a girl suffering from Law & Order withdrawal has to cling to whatever hope she’s got.

In reality, it was of course actor Sam Waterston who stopped by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to accept the school’s Goodermote Humanitarian Award. And while Jack McCoy may have been an upstanding DA, it turns out that Waterston himself might be an even more admirable person. “Mr. Waterston’s acting accomplishments are well-known, but his work as an advocate for the displaced victims of war is far less celebrated,” Michael Klag, dean of the Bloomberg School said at the ceremony. Refugees are Waterston’s particular area of advocacy; after starring in (and receiving an Oscar nomination for) The Killing Fields, a film about the Khmer Rouge’s brutal reign in Cambodia, Waterston became a board member of Refugees International. He’s also been active in many other charitable organizations.

If you missed the ceremony, check it out here. And if you just like picturing McCoy and his eyebrows frowning sagely at the mean streets of Baltimore, you might want to check out the two-part Homicide/Law & Order crossover episode “Baby, It’s You.”

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