Maryland Taxpayers Association, Inc.
9613-C Harford Road, #527
Baltimore, MD 21234

September 21, 2004

Dear Fellow Taxpayer:

Who can you trust in Annapolis these days?

For starters, the 2004 General Assembly (not one that convened during some former administration) set in motion nearly $2 billion in new Maryland taxes and "fees" totaled over this and the next four fiscal years.

Thirty-five members of the 2004 General Assembly had signed a pledge promising all their fellow Marylanders that they would

...oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.

Later this fall, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) will publish the national list of every 2004 pledge breaker in every state.

But when we at MTA came to do our detailed review of promise keepers in the Free State, we discovered that nine of these thirty-five had broken their pledges two times, ten of these thirty-five had broken their pledge three times in the 2004, and four had broken their pledge four times in the 2004 General Assembly! (Regrettably, state senator Bob Kittleman died this September. Thus he is not included in this voting tally.)

Breaking the taxpayer protection pledge even once (and ATR will list all the pledge breakers) is unacceptable, but two, three and four-time pledge breakers shocked even an MTA hardened by the Glendening years and wary of today's Annapolis big-government drumbeat.

We tracked the pledge-signer voting records on the following six 2004 statewide tax measures:

  • SB508, denying Marylanders state relief on estate and business taxes otherwise allowed by Federal tax cuts, and adding myriad fees;
  • HB297, "Holding Companies" - - - raising business taxes.
  • HB1188, adding a corporate tax hike under the camouflage of "higher education";
  • SB320, the so-called Flush Tax;
  • HB1271, taxing HMO's;
  • HB1467, the Car Tax.
    (Note: HB297 became law without the governor's signature. The governor wisely vetoed HB1188. HB1271 failed to pass.)

So who broke their pledges four times in this General Assembly?

Senator Norman Stone. Delegates John Arnick, Carmen Amedori, and Nancy Stocksdale. (Ms. Amedori has since been appointed to the Parole Commission.)

Ten other Pledge Signers forgot their promises to Maryland citizens three times this year:

Delegates Joe Bartlett, John Wood, Anthony O'Donnell, Terry Gilleland, Ted Sophocleus, Dave Boschert, Bob Costa, Charles Boutin, Mary Roe Walkup, and Addie Eckardt.

The nine two-time promise-breakers in the last General Assembly included:

Senators Roy Dyson, Janet Greenip, Richard Colburn, and Lowell Stoltzfus; and delegates Christopher Shank, Wade Kach, Barry Glassman, Joanne Parrott, and William Frank.

It seems safer to trust the people with taxing power than many Maryland politicians.

Stay tuned to our website and follow our efforts to add a Taxpayer Bill of Rights to the Maryland Constitution. Two of the proposed amendment's sponsors are senators Alex Mooney and Andy Harris who have perfect scores as promise keepers in opposing these six tax measures.

Best Wishes.

Dee Hodges, president
Richard Falknor, vice president

The Maryland Taxpayers Association is the Free State's non-profit,
non-partisan, state-wide, grass-roots voice for Maryland taxpayers.
MTA asks Maryland elected officials for their pledge not to raise taxes,
and acts to make Maryland government more efficient.