GLOBAL CORPORATE RULE WITH SUSPENDED US RULE OF LAW AND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS WILL NOT LOOK PRETTY FOR ANY US CITIZEN----BUT WOMEN AND PEOPLE OF COLOR WILL BE HURT MOST. IF YOU THINK YOU ARE RICH TODAY----YOU OR YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN MOST LIKELY WILL BE THE 90% OF AMERICANS IMPOVERISHED BY THESE THIRD WORLD POLICIES.
The tax policy conversations happening this week outside of the Maryland Tax Policy Commission geared strictly to reforming corporate taxes ranged from taxes on bottled water-----ever higher taxes on cigarettes----and taxes on seniors and their retirements. Maryland has a 6% tax on bottled water----one of a few states to do this. This brings the $ few tens of millions of dollars to state Treasury not paid by the hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate tax credits and breaks. When a testimony describing how Baltimore City residents need bottled water because Johns Hopkins moved all the city's money over these few decades to build a global corporation rather than rebuild the water and waste infrastructure------Baltimore City schools have to use bottled water because water pipes are leaded-----it was Mary Washington from Baltimore and two Prince Georges Delegates that questioned the need to reduce or remove this ridiculous tax on water. The Prince Georges Delegate went so far to say -----'I am from Prince Georges not Baltimore'. To support such a tax when no state is doing so and the need for cost savings is keen for Maryland's low-income is not to be understood.
WE NEED DEMOCRATIC VOTERS OF COLOR TO LOOK CLOSELY AT WHO THEY ARE SENDING TO THE MARYLAND ASSEMBLY----YOU ARE A HUGE VOTING BLOCK IN MARYLAND AND YOU ARE ELECTING POLS THAT ACT LIKE REPUBLICANS.
You may think this one issue is a small one----but it is a window at how regressive Maryland taxation has become and they plan to become more so.
Repeal water tax
Md. may not tax the rain, but it does tax the water. As Gov. Larry Hogan settles into office, he faces the impressive challenge of balancing Maryland's budget while making good on his pledge to cut taxes for residents. Sugar Free Kids Maryland, the state's leading voice in the fight against teen diabetes and childhood obesity, has a solution that may make this challenge a little easier and the rest of us a little healthier.
Our diverse coalition of groups is supporting legislation in this year's session of the Maryland General Assembly that would repeal the state's 6 percent sales tax on bottled water. Maryland is one of only four states that taxes bottled water at a higher rate than other essential food and drinks, like bread and milk. Water, in all its forms, is the most essential of them all.
While Sugar Free Kids recognizes that tap water is the safest and most affordable form of water, we also know that for a variety of reasons, many Marylanders choose bottled water as their primary source of drinking water. For families on the go, bottled water is the often the only form available.
There is no doubt that the rates of chronic diseases related to unhealthy lifestyles among both children and adults have grown so dramatically that they must be considered public health epidemics. Children as young as 10 years old are being diagnosed with high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and other diseases previously believed to be reserved for adulthood. At this rate, their generation will, for the first time in history, have shorter life spans than their parents. That's a bleak and frightening outlook for all Marylanders.
Drinking just one eight-ounce sugary drink a day increases a child's odds of becoming obese by 60 percent. Replacing that drink with water from the tap or bottle would not just reduce the risks of these diseases but add years to their lives.
Making bottled water more affordable for adults and children would not only save Marylanders money, it would also encourage consumption of water — a much healthier alternative to sodas, fruit juices, Gatorade and other sugary drinks, which are the main contributors to the epidemics of type 2 diabetes and childhood obesity.
We know from talking to Maryland families that price really does matter when it comes to the food and drinks that we consume. For instance, a woman on a fixed budget from Baltimore City shared with us how she calculates sales tax on all purchases and how removing the tax will help her make healthier choices for her family. She's not alone. This common sense, evidence-based measure will make the healthiest choice more affordable for all Maryland families.
Marylanders like this solution, too. A recent poll conducted by OpinionWorks found that nearly 80 percent of Marylanders from all parties, backgrounds and areas support making bottled water sales tax-free; 61 percent of Marylanders polled "strongly" support it.
Removing this broad-based tax would cost Maryland coffers $12 million to $15 million a year, which is less than 0.1 percent of the state's annual operating budget. The small investments we make today in the long-term health of our children will reap economic and health benefits for decades to come.
Parents responsible for supplying the soccer team with drinks at halftime will have a much easier decision making the healthier choice, and office managers responsible for supplying drinks for the big meeting will also be more apt to make the healthier choice.
We are asking Governor Hogan to take a strong long look at our bipartisan proposal — a tax cut with significant public support and benefits for the public health. It offers a win-win for all Marylanders, with benefits that would help both our pocketbooks and our waistlines.
Making healthy choices easier and more affordable is within our grasp. For Governor Hogan and members of the General Assembly who want to work together to promote healthier Maryland families, removing tax on bottled water is a proposition they can't afford to refuse.
Robi Rawl is the executive director of Sugar Free Kids Maryland, a statewide coalition working to educate Marylanders about childhood obesity and teen diabetes and the roles that sugary drinks play in these diseases. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
People might think it odd for a progressive labor and justice activist to come out against YET ANOTHER RISE in taxation of tobacco----this time so broad and expensive as to seriously impede even casual use of tobacco. Now, raising taxes on cigarettes has indeed made it too expensive for some groups to buy it and sales have no doubt dropped. The question now as they go higher and higher with taxation-----WHAT ARE THESE TAXES GOING TOWARDS?
I tried to explain to Maryland Health Initiative head DeMarco that cigarette corporations have simply created a lower cost cigarette that studies show is MORE HARMFUL than regular cigarettes to the health of smokers. Blended cigarettes are now where smokers who cannot afford cigarettes are going. The stats that show a decline in the number of people coming for health issues regarding smoking could follow the health reform in Maryland that has denied Maryland citizens without the right insurance access to cancer and smoking disease vector health care. Lung cancer is indeed one of the cancers taken off of Affordable Care Act funding and State health system funding. So, if health reformers like Johns Hopkins for which Maryland Health Initiative works are denying health coverage for many people most likely to have smoking health issues----where are all of these ever-rising taxes going?
Both Medicare and Medicaid will no longer cover many cancer treatments. They highlight that they will pay for preventative checkups for lung cancer-----but you will need private health coverage to access the care. Most people smoking these days are going to fall into Bronze or Medicaid level coverage so will not have lung cancer coverage. This is why the rate of people coming for lung ailments will fall----THEY CANNOT ACCESS CARE.
This over-kill of taxation is simply a regressive tax at this point and we know these smoking taxes are not going where they are supposed to. I thank one testimony for highlighting that the anti-lung cancer funds are being diverted......probably to Johns Hopkins' profit.
Will Medicare cover costs for lung cancer?
by kilian » Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:41 am
It depends on what kind of coverage he has. If his current insurance is through his employer it will pay first, then Medicare (if he has both Part A and Part B). If he just turned 65 and is buying his own individual insurance, he'll want to look into a Medicare supplement plan to go with his Medicare Part A and Part B. If he does not have employer insurance coverage he has a limited amount of time when he can sign up for a Medicare supplement plan (initial enrollment period) without consideration of previous conditions. Don't cancel any insurance know but he needs to find out for sure how his current coverage works with Medicare and make sure he doesn't miss an important sign up period to get a Medicare supplement plan without underwriting.
Medicare has a brochure on who pays first and explains how insurance plans work with Medicare - link can be found below.
When I asked DeMarco about what Johns Hopkins was doing to keep blended tobacco products off the shelves because they are more harmful than cigarettes-----no research against the cigarette corporations----just more and more taxation.
The idea of health reform giving health industry a bolus of money to do as they wish and then to have them dictating lifestyle for coverage is not what WE THE PEOPLE is about. Everything we do causes a health problem-----we breath air from corporate pollution that these Maryland Assembly and Johns Hopkins advocates say nothing about. Education is the key to healthy lifestyle-----making healthy food and water readily available is good policy----
TAXING PEOPLE TO DEATH AND USING THE MONEY ELSEWHERE IS PROFITEERING.
Where Tobacco Settlement Funds Really Went July 22 ABC News
When the tobacco companies agreed to pay a $200 billion settlement to states for medical costs due to smoking, and to help prevent kids from starting, it was a legal victory against "Big Tobacco."
"We need to finish this job and move on with saving children's lives," Christine Gregoire, the Washington State Attorney General, said after the settlement was announced three years ago. "This is not about the money … We are getting this industry off the backs of our kids."
Gregoire was not alone in that declaration. At the time, attorneys general from around the nation vowed to use the funds to fight teen smoking. But once the settlement money landed in state coffers, that wasn't always the case. While some states have spent the money on programs to fight teen smoking, others went on a spending spree.
Today four major anti-smoking groups say states are squandering billions of dollars that was supposed to be used to keep children and teenagers away from cigarettes. Because of state budget shortfalls, states are cutting already under-funded tobacco prevention programs by $102.3 million, or 13 percent, according to a report issued today by the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
The groups say that these budget reductions compound another problem: few states were keeping their promise to use tobacco settlement funds for tobacco prevention programs.
A Feeding Frenzy
In the state of New York, for example, Niagara County spent $700,000 in tobacco settlement funds for a sprinkler system at a public golf course. The county also spent $24 million for a county jail and office building.
In Wrangell, Alaska, $3.5 million of the tobacco settlement money was used to renovate shipping docks.
In Los Angeles, former Mayor Richard Riordan proposed using $100 million in tobacco money to defend cops who are accused of planting drugs and guns on suspects. He was turned down.
But these are just some examples of the feeding frenzy that has happened over the tobacco money. Now, anti-smoking groups are saying the public has been duped.
"The states' failure to use these funds to actually protect our children is unconscionable," said Matt Myers, executive vice president and general counsel of the National Center for Tobacco Free Kids, a Washington-based anti-tobacco lobbying group. States that have decided to divert those funds are already seeing increased smoking rates among children, he said.
N.C. Tobacco Farmers Benefit
North Carolina gave $200,000 in tobacco money to the Carolina Horse Park, an equestrian center near Pinehurst, N.C. The center defends the grant, saying it will boost economic development. But local taxpayer groups think the allocation was wasteful.
"It's pretty much people wear funny hats and drink and eat, [and] watch horses go around," said Don Carrington, a member of the John Locke Foundation, a nonprofit think tank based in Raleigh, N.C.
"It's amazing we would use the tobacco settlement to support an operation like that. It should not be publicly funded," Carrington said.
The strangest twist: Money that was pledged to keep kids from smoking even went to tobacco farmers.
North Carolina spent $42 million of the settlement funds to market tobacco and modernize the tobacco curing process.
Tax relief for seniors is a common theme and as a senior I like this. Maryland of course works hard to throw retirements and pensions under the bus for repeated Wall Street losses each economic crash and private sector pensions are feeling heavy losses as people are forced by poverty to cash them in with tax penalty. Remember how I showed how people are being allowed to subprime Disability just for the sake of forcing them to cut their Social Security payments in half in many cases. Now, because of the deliberate public policy to keep unemployment high and retirement fraud without justice-----seniors are having to take the next step and fight the early cash-in of pensions. Remember, forcing public sector employees to retire is big right now and roll-overs are crazy.
The theme for testimony for seniors was that many retirees are leaving the state because of taxes and fees geared towards retirements and retirement communities.
The testimony for tax reduction on retirement focused squarely on rollovers which is indeed needed----but as was made clear-----all pensions are experiencing these hefty taxes and roll-overs are generally made by more affluent wage earners. So, all seniors are experiencing a fleecing with taxes as they are forced to seek money from personal savings but the only solutions being brought forward are for individual kinds of pensions----
WE NEED BROAD INCLUSION IN ENDING THESE PENSION TAXES IN THE STATE.
Maryland is basically forcing its public sector employees into retirements and in other cases throwing public pensions into 401Ks and all of this comes with tax burden on citizens because of Maryland Assembly actions. So far------Maryland Assembly will pass the laws to cut----but do not want to help protect Maryland citizens from tax losses.
RECOVER A BILLION DOLLARS IN STATE OUTSOURCING OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND WORKS PROJECT FRAUD AND PAY FOR IT WITH THAT REVENUE.
IRS SAFE HARBOR EXPLANATION
– Rev Dec 20121of 6 SPECIAL TAX NOTICE REGARDING YOUR ROLLOVER OPTIONS
You are receiving this notice because all or a portion of a payment you are receiving from the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System of Maryland (the "Plan") is eligible to be rolled over to an IRA or an employer plan. This notice is intended to help you decide whether to do such a rollover.
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT ROLLOVERS How can a rollover affect my taxes? You will be taxed on a payment from the Plan if you do not roll it over. If you are under age 59 ½ and do not do a rollover, you will also have to pay a 10% additional income tax on early distributions (unless an exception applies). If you do a rollover to a traditional IRA or an eligible employer plan, you will not have to pay tax until you receive payments later from the IRA or plan, and the 10% additional income tax will not apply if those payments are made after you are age 59 ½ (or if an exception applies).
| IRS SAFE HARBOR EXPLANATION – Rev Dec 20122of 6 If you do a rollover to a Roth IRA, you will be taxed on the amount rolled over (reduced by any after-tax amount). However, if you are under age 59 ½ at the time of the rollover, the 10% additional income tax will not apply. See the section below titled "If you roll over your payment to a Roth IRA" for more details.
Teachers have been being furloughed now for several years especially in Baltimore. Mary Pat Clarke famously told me-----they weren't fired, they chose to leave. Well, with conditions getting more hostile in the workplace and wages dropping----Mary Pat needs to think what 'forced out' means.
O'Malley pretended to save public jobs while being the biggest public private privatizer of public sector jobs. Each time workers are laid off or unions are busted and pensions are forced into turnover. Well, most of those people do not find new jobs and they are forced to use their pensions-----ergo, they pay early cash-in taxes.
This is happening all over the country and it only has to do with small government and starving government coffers with fraud and government corruption. The Federal government fleeced of tens of trillions of dollars it is not recovering----states fleeced of as much as $10 billion----a quarter of the state budget ------most likely lost to fraud and misappropriation. So, these job cuts are not being done for lack of money----they are eliminating all efforts to rebuild Rule of Law and public justice by defunding the staff to do this.
If you are a small government person you may not care about government employees getting their pensions or wages---but remember, the same thing is happening to your Medicare and Social Security so if you allow one group to be fleeced of contracted benefits it will come back to you.
STAND UP FOR ALL RETIREMENT INVESTMENTS AND SAVINGS NOW BEING FLEECED OFTEN ILLEGALLY!
As people point out----Maryland has a crisis of poverty----people are being made too poor to consume which is what creates the stagnant economy. That's OK say Maryland's rich----we are going overseas for our consumers anyway!
CUTTING GOVERNMENT 2 GOP governors offer employee buyouts
Media Sources // Sunday, 22 February 2015 00:36 //
Republican governors in two states -- Maryland and Tennessee -- are offering voluntary employee-buyout programs as a way to reduce government beyond furloughs and cutting programs.
In Maryland, newly elected Gov. Larry Hogan is offering state employees in agencies in the executive branch a lump sum payment of $15,000, according to a letter dated Wednesday. They also would receive an additional $200 for each year of service.
The program is part of Hogan's balanced budget plan that was released last month and closed a budget shortfall of about $750 million.
"The goal of the program is to reduce the size of the state workforce by allowing employees to elect to voluntarily leave state service," David Brinkley, Hogan's budget secretary, wrote in the letter.
He also said that closing the shortfall “required some very tough decisions” but that the budget still managed to be structurally balanced without eliminating agencies and programs, imposing furloughs or eliminating filled state positions.
The citizens of Maryland need to wake up to the growing movement of all revenue sources coming from the working and middle-class and the end of Constitutionally guaranteed social programs. We have protections in the Federal and State Constitutions to protect against egregious taxation and directing tax burden to individual groups.
Baltimore is the only county in Maryland with tax policy specifically violation this Maryland State Constitutional protection. Its tax policy is so geared to protecting corporations and the rich ----so surgical to protect certain communities and kinds of citizens that it is clearly illegal.
Tax policy looking like an overly-gerrymandered election district SPELLS THIRD WORLD POLICY. People may have been fine with it when it protected their community-----but tax policy is becoming so regressive that taxes, fines, and fees directed at the poor and middle-class now make up the bulk of any revenue collection and then all that goes to corporate subsidy to 'attract corporations to Maryland for jobs, jobs, jobs'. The most common statement----and these Delegates and Senators say it on queue------
MARYLAND HAS TO BE MADE A COMPETITIVE STATE-----OUR STATE ECONOMIC ENGINE-----OUR ECONOMIC ZONES.
This is all global corporate tribunal speak------Maryland is a state the could have a healthy economy if it was domestic and supplied for the needs of fully employed Maryland citizens. They are lying when they say all of this 'business-friendly' policy is about Maryland citizens. Small businesses will not thrive with what is coming.
STOP THE GROUP GLOBAL CORPORATE TALKING POINTS AND WORK FOR THE CITIZENS OF MARYLAND!
Art. 15. That the levying of taxes by the poll is grievous and oppressive, and ought to be prohibited; that paupers ought not to be assessed for the support of the government; that the General Assembly shall, by uniform rules, provide for the separate assessment, classification and sub-classification of land, improvements on land and personal property, as it may deem proper; and all taxes thereafter provided to be levied by the State for the support of the general State Government, and by the Counties and by the City of Baltimore for their respective purposes, shall be uniform within each class or sub-class of land, improvements on land and personal property which the respective taxing powers may have directed to be subjected to the tax levy; yet fines, duties or taxes may properly and justly be imposed, or laid with a political view for the good government and benefit of the community (amended by Chapter 390, Acts of 1914, ratified Nov. 2, 1915; Chapter 64, Acts of 1960, ratified Nov. 8, 1960).
I showed the headline of how property taxes will be effected by leveraged bond deals-----today I show the FLUSH TAX, RAIN TAX, and the GAS TAX. If you read headlines from national and state media they all call Maryland progressive for taxation because O'Malley is running for President in 2016 as a Democrat. They tout the slight raise of income tax on higher level taxpayers who probably do not pay taxes anyway because tax collection is not audited in Maryland for the most part.
This kind of tax policy is not Democratic. Try as they may----these tax increases are not protecting wages or social programs-----all of those are being fleeced with fraud. This is purely a mechanism to move more wealth to the top and it is becoming worse and worse in Maryland.
Republicans work to make the rich richer------not Democrats!
In Baltimore fines and fees are now added to high property taxes and service fees to cover the amount of corporate subsidy and tax evasion that is breath-taking. Hogan will pretend to lower some of these taxes on the public----but he is looking squarely at more corporate tax reduction and someone has to provide the revenue!
Friday, March 22, 2013
Your 86 percent Gas-Tax Increase
By Blair Lee My Maryland ---The Gazette
We almost made it. We almost got through a General Assembly session without another Martin O'Malley tax increase. But then, at the last moment, O'Malley came out with a new tax that's larger than any of the other 32 tax hikes he's put into law during his seven-year tenure.
O'Malley's bill, as amended by the House Ways and Means Committee, would hike the state's gas tax from 23.5 cents per gallon to 43.7 cents per gallon by July 2016, an 86 percent increase. It also ties our gas tax to inflation, so it will now automatically increase without any legislative action or blame.
Here's why O'Malley's gas tax stinks;
Once again Maryland's “progressive” lawmakers slam the poor. A gas tax hits household budgets, immediately cutting into grocery and medical necessities while penalizing low-income motorists driving old gas guzzlers more than yuppies driving hybrid Priuses.
2. Hurts Retailers
Thanks to O'Malley's prior tax increases, the cost of tobacco, alcohol and many other items is greater in Maryland than in neighboring states. Now Maryland's gasoline tax will become the highest in the region and fifth highest in the nation.
Shoppers aren't stupid, especially during hard times. They'll compare Maryland's 43.7 cents of tax on gas to Virginia's (10.5 cents), Delaware's (23 cents), Washington, D.C.'s (23.5 cents), Pennsylvania's (32.3 cents) and West Virginia's (34.7 cents).
They're already crossing state lines to buy cigarettes and booze. Now, they'll fill up their tank, too, and buy their groceries and other household goods while they're there.
Maryland is a small state within easy reach of its neighbors. O'Malley's gas tax is going to kill retailers located near the state's borders.
3. No “Lockbox”
All our gas taxes, vehicle registration and license fees, etc., go into a special fund (the Transportation Trust Fund), not the state's general fund.
Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) revenues are dedicated to transportation spending only. But the dirty little secret of state budgeting is that, while the general fund is subject to the state constitution's balanced budget requirement, the TTF is not.
That's why state lawmakers raid the TTF to balance the general fund when revenues drop. Also, it's easier to swipe TTF money rather than actually cut state spending. O'Malley “borrowed” $1.3 billion from the TTF and now complains that the cupboard is bare.
He's promised to return $500 million to the TTF and never to raid it again. His gas-tax bill puts a “lockbox” on the TTF, but it should be called a “joke box” because it's no protection whatsoever: The governor can unlock the lockbox and swipe all the new gas-tax revenue if 60 percent of the legislature's two spending committees approve. Remember, committee membership is controlled by each chamber's presiding officer and, as we saw with the death penalty and offshore windmills, committee members can be quickly shifted until the desired vote is achieved.
In other words, the fox can't raid the chicken house, again, until the fox wants to.
The only joke bigger than the “lockbox” is the claim that Virginia's recent transportation funding increase forced Maryland lawmakers to pass a gas tax to be competitive.
If Maryland lawmakers gave a damn about business competitiveness, we'd copy Virginia's right-to-work, low-tax and business-friendly policies. Maryland's sudden concern about Virginia is just Maryland's excuse for raising another tax.
4. Spending Disparity
Currently only 28 percent of Maryland's transportation budget is spent on roads and bridges, while 46 percent is spent on mass transit, which is used by only 8.8 percent of Maryland's commuters.
Most of O'Malley's new gas tax will, likewise, go to mass transit, where riders only pay 28 percent of the operating cost in Baltimore and 58 percent in the D.C. suburbs. Also, instead of roads and bridges, we're going to build two new light-rail lines: Baltimore's Red Line ($2.5 billion) and the D.C. area's Purple Line ($2.2 billion), whose combined operating costs will be $120 million a year.
O'Malley's gas-tax bill further skews the spending disparity by eliminating the share of gas-tax revenues that's supposed to go to local governments for local roads and bridges.
According to public opinion polls, 73 percent of Maryland residents oppose a gas-tax increase. Perhaps that's because, according to Change Maryland, this will be O'Malley's 33rd tax or fee increase, adding another $800 million a year to the $2.3 billion a year we're already paying in new taxes under O'Malley.
So, will this huge, regressive, unpopular, inflation-indexed gas tax pass? Of course. You see, most of the gas-tax increase doesn't phase in until after next year's state elections; the gas tax can't be taken to voter referendum (because it's a money bill); and O'Malley and the legislative leaders are busy buying off Baltimore and Prince George's lawmakers with spending handouts.
Baltimore city is trading its gas-tax votes for $20 million a year for the next 30 years in state school construction funds. Prince George's is trading for a $1 billion state-funded hospital. And Montgomery's lawmakers are voting for the gas tax, which will hit their county hardest, because it's the right thing to do!
You see, the dummies from Montgomery honestly believe that the federal and Maryland governments will spend $4.7 billion building two light-rail projects, simultaneously. No way.
And which project do you guess will actually get built and which will get delayed, forever? Wanna make any bets?
Meanwhile, get ready to pay your 86 percent gas-tax increase.