Lawmakers in Annapolis are proposing a whole range of new services to subject to Maryland’s 6 percent sales tax, ranging from haircuts, car washes and exterminators to business consulting, tax preparation services, employment agencies and dating services.
The legislation — House Bill 1051, proposed to House Ways and Means Committee Chair Sheila E. Hixson and Del. James W. Gilchrist, both of Montgomery county — proposes extending the state’s sales tax to 29 additional services.
The legislation brings to mind the quote about tax reform from former U.S. Sen. Russell B. Long: “Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree!” When it comes to this bill, just about every Marylander is standing behind the tree.
Maryland’s Chamber of Commerce has already declared its opposition to the legislation, and offers suggestions on how to oppose the bill at the hearing scheduled for Tuesday, March 6, at 1 p.m. before the House Ways and Means Committee in Annapolis.
The list of services proposed to be added to the sales tax includes such a wide range as stenographers, commercial photography, tanning services, gyms, massages, docking services, public locker or storage rental, dieting services, direct mail advertising, public relations, real property management, sign painting, interior decorating, notary public and shop window decorating. Check out House Bill 1051 to read the full list.
If you have an opinion on the tax proposal, it’s always a good idea to share your opinion directly with your elected representatives. Find yours here.
Apparently still smarting from how the tech community successfully fought back against the “tech tax” that was imposed in 2007 — and repealed in 2008 — lawmakers have not included computer services on this list. But some in the tech community fear that the bill’s broad phrase of “any business consulting service” could apply to at least some of their work, too.