With six weeks to go in the Maryland General Assembly's 1997 session, the Democratic majority is still trying to find a way to pass a tax cut. It's not that they want to do it, but with an election year coming up, they dare not give Republicans an issue they can run with. We don't care why they cut taxes, just as long as they do.
We say that not because it would be of great benefit to the average taxpayers, who wouldn't get more than $200 if rates are cut by 10 percent. No, this tax cut is more symbol than substance, a message to prospective industries that to lure them here, the state is willing to sacrifice some revenues.
At this point the debate is about whether to reduce taxes by increasing the standard deduction - which would give everyone the same dollar amount - or by reducing the rate, which would mean that the more you make, the better the tax cut.