Tag: taxes

Baltimore’s Business Tax Climate Is Just Fine, Thank You

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Do you remember when Texas Governor Rick Perry went on that anti-Maryland tour, trying to get local businesses to consider relocating? One of his selling points was that Texas has a much more favorable tax climate for businesses, in part because it’s one of the states that has no state-level income taxes at all.

But a new study that takes a comprehensive look at the business tax climate throughout the world has found that Baltimore has the 4th most-favorable “tax index” (that is, the average taxes for a whole bunch of business sectors) in the entire United States. Incidentally, the top-ranked Texas city is Houston, which comes in 16th.

Erotic Fiction Author Is Md.’s Most Delinquent Tax Payer

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Since 2000, Maryland has been using public shaming to collect delinquent taxes with their “Caught in the Web” program by posting the names and addresses of the state’s biggest tax scofflaws. This year, topping the list is Upper Marlboro’s Kristina Roberts, better known as Zane, best-selling author of such books as Gettin’ Buck Wild, Addicted, and Love Is Never Painless.

Roberts owes Maryland a little over $340,000 in back taxes, and all I can say is Holy cow, Zane must be killing it in the erotic lit scene!

Baltimore Taxi Services to Engage in ‘Civil Disobedience’ to Protest New Tax

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Veolia Transportation launches Baltimore's first propoane-powered taxi fleet, May 11 2012.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s new taxi and limo tax of 25 cents per person, per trip is a key part of her overall revenue-generating strategy in the face of a property tax cut designed to lure more homeowners to the city. Baltimore’s Finance Department projects that the tax will raise $1.3 million for the city. That is, as long as the city’s taxi services actually pay it.

A group of “taxi, limousine, and for-hire sedan companies” that represents a large majority of private transportation vehicles in Baltimore have banded together with a vow to  fight the new tax with “civil disobedience” — they say they simply won’t pay it.

O’Malley/Brown/Gansler Double Down on Rain Tax

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Courtesy Citybizlist – According to recent news reports, the Maryland Department of Environment and the Attorney General’s office have warned counties who have not implemented the rain tax that they will face heavy fines for not complying with state law. These “non-complying” counties have found alternative funding sources for projects aimed at reducing stormwater runoff.

At Least One Md. Tax Is About to Go Way Down

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Though it may not always look like it, in some ways the economy is recovering. Given the amount of money currently in Maryland’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund relative to how much is needed to pay out unemployment claims, about half of all employers in the state will see a significant reduction in their unemployment insurance tax rate. According to the Sun, “a top-rated employer with 100 workers that paid $18,700 in 2012 will pay $2,550 in 2014.”

This puts Maryland’s unemployment tax right up there (right down there?) with among the lowest rates in the country. That’s after three years (starting in 2010) of paying the some of the highest, when unemployment claims were many and the coffers were strained.

According to Audit, Md. Issued Erroneous $101K Tax Refund Check Last Year

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There are some errors I wouldn’t mind being the victim. Mistakenly receiving a tax refund of $101,000 is one of them.

That’s just one of the more glaring snafus discovered in an audit of the comptroller’s Revenue Administration Division, which is responsible for keeping track of most Maryland taxes.

Based on the breakdown of the audit’s findings on Maryland Reporter, the RAD sounds like a real mess: tax credits and social security numbers going unverified; a faulty system for keeping track of refund checks; opportunities for employees to steal checks.

Nobody Should Like This New Rain Tax, Here’s Why

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Protecting the Chesapeake Bay with storm water runoff systems is a noble task, but the so-called “rain tax” that has been implemented to pay for it is easily Maryland’s most despisable fee. And now that the bills are actually coming in, property owners — particularly businesses — are up in arms.

Baltimore County business owners are the most fighting mad at the moment. They’re being charged according to the area of impervious surface on their properties, but those calculations are based on aerial photographs “taken from a fairly high location” from 2011, and all parking lots and roads are assumed to be impervious, whether they are stone or blacktop.

Frustrating, to be sure, but everyone should hate this new tax. Here’s why:

New City Budget Uses Sleight of Hand to Lower Property Taxes

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In an attempt to attract new residents to Baltimore city, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has been looking to reduce property taxes. And with the 2014 budget, she’s done it. According to the Sun, the owner of a $200,000 home would see a $140 decrease in his property taxes. The only thing is, new stormwater and taxi fees more than compensate for the property tax relief, ensuring that for many city residents the cost of living in Baltimore will rise. The most Councilman Robert W. Curran can hope is that it will “be a wash for residents.

Event of the Day: RA Sushi Tax Day Monday Special

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The popularity of our House of the Day feature convinced us to bring our favorite events to you, too!   Only catch: the events MUST be from our events page. So sign up and post those events. It’s easy.  – The Eds.  

From our events page: “This year, the tax return deadline is Monday, April 15, and RA Sushi is offering a reward for those who got their taxes done early or a little relief for the procrastinators. RA Sushi has created a Tax Day Monday special, extending its Happy Hour from 3 p.m. to close on April 15. On Tax Day Monday, guests can choose from more than 35 sushi, appetizer, and tapas selections ranging from $2.25 to $7.25, plus a wide variety of beer, wine, sake, and signature cocktails ranging from $3 to $7.”

Is Maryland Really One of the Least Free States?

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Well, if North Dakota is the most free state in America, maybe freedom is overrated? That’s one way we Marylanders can soothe ourselves over our dismal showing in the annual Freedom in the 50 States survey conducted by George Mason University:  we’re the 44th freest state in the nation, slipping two spots since 2009. But what does “freedom” mean, exactly?

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