Letter to the Editor

May 06, 2010

Maryland needs to use financial common sense

To the editor:

Northrop Grumman just announced its decision to relocate its main headquarters from Los Angeles to Virginia. As a result, Maryland loses over 300 new jobs that could have belonged to Maryland families. The company considered relocating to Maryland, but they chose Virginia mostly as a result of Maryland's heavily taxed and regulated business environment.

Right after taking office, Gov. O'Malley and the liberal majority in the legislature instituted the highest increase of taxes in Maryland history. According to the nonpartisan/nonprofit Tax Foundation report, Maryland dropped from a ranking of the 25th most friendly business state, when Bob Ehrlich was our governor in 2006, to the sixth worst state today.

If Northrop Grumman had chosen to move its headquarters to Maryland, it would have increased its taxes by more than $4 million annually just based on the current corporate tax rate differences between the two states. When considering Maryland's other high tax rates, including that Maryland is ranked as the state with the second-highest income tax rate in the nation, its decision to move to Virginia is logical.


Maryland is turning away job-creating businesses from our state because of our fiscal policies. In Washington County, businesses can simply cross the line into Pennsylvania, Virginia, or West Virginia to do business in a much friendlier environment. It is no wonder that our unemployment rate in Washington County is 11.1 percent, 1.4 percentage points above the national average.

How can we improve the availability of jobs for Washington County families, and how should we evaluate our elected officials? Should we grade them based on how many laws they got passed this past session, as some have suggested? Certainly, some of the laws passed were necessary, but does the simple number of new laws determine the effectiveness of the legislators? As a small business owner, I know that Maryland already has too many regulations, too many taxes, and too much pork.

As a state delegate, I will work hard to reduce unnecessary regulations that are already on the books and will work to defeat new burdens that would hurt small businesses and our families. Many people joke about living in the Republic of Maryland, and we can't reverse this perception by rewarding politicians for simply adding more rules for us to follow.

Former President Ronald Reagan has been praised for knowing when to stop compromising. Sometimes, elected officials need to say no in order to be financially responsible. Would you buy a new Lexus when you can't afford to buy food for your children? Families cannot spend what they do not have, which requires saying no, or waiting, for many desirable projects in order to make ends meet. Our state must, and should, do the same.

It is time to put an end to funding projects on the backs of hardworking Marylanders by imposing further tax hikes, taking on unnecessary debt, and by furloughing correctional officers and other state employees.

For the sake of jobs in our state, Maryland needs to operate with the same financial common sense as Maryland families. Only then can we can begin to compete for the chance to become the home of a Fortune 100 company like Northrop Grumman. In November, Maryland will have a choice. Will we elect leaders who will reduce our tax burden, pass a budget that we can afford, and create a business-friendly environment once again? Let's hope so, and we will need to do our part in the voting booth to make this happen. I would like to join former Gov. Ehrlich and other fiscal conservatives to work to help Maryland's working families, and I ask for your support.

Neil Parrott
Candidate for delegate in Subdistrict 2B

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