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GOP: Poll shows most Marylanders don't want higher taxes

General Assembly's newest Republican delegates calling for fiscal cuts

January 25, 2012|By ANDREW SCHOTZ | andrews@herald-mail.com
  • Del. Neil C. Parrott of Washington County was among a group of Republican delegates who, on Wednesday, released the results of a survey showing that most Marylanders don't want their taxes to increase.
By Andrew Schotz, Staff Writer

The Maryland General Assembly’s newest Republican delegates said Wednesday a statewide poll they commissioned shows most Marylanders don’t want higher taxes.

The group, including two delegates who represent Washington County, wore buttons that read, “We are the 96%,” referring to the percentage of survey respondents who said their tax burden is either too high or just right.

Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies Inc. conducted the poll from Jan. 9-15 for Del. Kathy Szeliga, R-Harford/Baltimore County.

Del. Neil C. Parrott, R-Washington, and Del. Michael J. Hough, R-Frederick/Washington, were among the GOP delegates calling for fiscal cuts instead of higher taxes.

“After a year in Annapolis, we realize that this place is run by taxaholics,” Szeliga said. “We freshmen have a 12-step recovery plan which we’re going to offer to give strength to the weak.”

One legislator said after a news conference in the State House that the House Republican Caucus, as it has done in past years, plans to offer an alternate budget plan this year focusing on spending cuts.

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Gonzales did a telephone survey of 808 registered Maryland voters who vote regularly, according to a methodology summary.

The question was: “Do you think that you and your family pay too much in taxes, too little in taxes or about the right amount in taxes?”

Sixty-three percent of respondents said “too much,” 33 percent said “about right” and 4 percent said “too little.”

Among residents in the five westernmost counties, including Washington County, the response was 63 people who said “too much,” 25 people who said “about right” and one person who said “too little.”

The poll’s margin of error is 3.5 percent.

Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, has said that a mix of cuts and taxes is needed to help the state fill a structural deficit of more than $1 billion.

However, the Republicans — who identified themselves as freshmen, even though they are in their second legislative session — railed against tax and fee increases O’Malley already has proposed or is expected to propose.

“They want to tax our apps,” Parrott said, referring to smartphone downloads. “They want to tax when we go on our cellphone, and we download an app — they want 6 percent. When we download (from) iTunes a song, they want 6 percent. This is getting ridiculous and it needs to stop this year.”

“The answer should no longer be in Annapolis, for every problem, for politicians to dig their hands deeper in the wallets of taxpayers,” Hough said.

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