House gives initial OK to 2 taxing measures


ANNAPOLIS -- Two budget-balancing tax measures, one increasing the tax on cigarettes and the other reducing the tax break for capital gains, gained preliminary approval in the House yesterday.

The bill to apply the state's 5 percent sales tax to cigarettes moved to a final vote today after delegates defeated, 119-4, a proposal by Delegate Gerald J. Curran, D-Baltimore, to replace it with a 1 percent across-the-board increase in the sales tax.

"This is the tax rate amendment you've been waiting to vote against," crowed Delegate James C. Rosapepe, D-Prince George's.

The capital gains measure, also headed for a final House vote today, would eliminate the current tax break allowed on 40 percent of capital gains, except for those who earn $50,000 or less. Those taxpayers would continue to receive a tax break, but only on 20 percent of their capital gains.

The measure survived two attempts at amendment.

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