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Maryland lawmakers argue over sales tax proposal

Posted at 5:44 PM, Mar 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-02 17:44:57-05

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A large and enthusiastic crowd came to the treasury building to show their disdain for a $4 billion a year tax increase for the Kirwan Education Bill.

The crowd was mainly made up of those in the real estate business.

The tax increase bill would lower the sales tax from six to five percent and then would add a five percent tax on services that have never been taxed before like hair cuts, lawn work, accountants and legal service.

Julie Shepard works for a realtor in Annapolis.

"Your fee has increased by $10,000," said Shepard.

Delegate Eric Luedtke, who is the sponsor of the bill, says realtors did not add in the fact materials may be cheaper because of the sales tax reductions on materials.

"Every small business will have to learn how to collect taxes. Most of these services, they don't collect sales tax," said Paul Skeens.

Under this bill, Comptroller Peter Franchot, would be the one who would have to add employees. A report says his office may have to hire a dozen more people to handle all the extra and unorthodox taxation.

"Let's not raise taxes in a hurry," said Franchot.

Sean Johnson is with the Maryland State Education Association and he's all for other ways to get there.