From recent articles in The Sun, we learn that Maryland casinos earned $93 million dollars in the last fiscal year, $13 million in January of 2012 alone. The state gets two-thirds of that.
Also, we recently learned that speed cameras have generated $19 million in revenue, not counting red-light camera revenue. As a recent letter write noted, there's been $13 million collected in the short time speed cameras have been in place in construction zones along Interstate 95 and I-895.
Yet tolls have gone up, and our governor still wants more — to extend the current 6 percent sales tax to gasoline and perhaps to add another 1 percent hike in the sales tax (which he raised 1 percent just four years ago). All this is said to be necessary so that we can meet transportation needs for bridges and roads. Oh, and Gov. Martin O'Malleyalso wants to increase the flush tax to save the Chesapeake Bay, a cause that has become a black hole for money pouring into Annapolis without much of a demonstrable result.
Where has all the casino/speed camera/red light camera money gone? Much of that revenue is of fairly recent vintage, yet all that on top of existing revenue seems not to be enough. What about the millions of dollars in income from the lotteries, which were promised to solve so many fiscal problems when they were initiated?
Will there ever be an end to expecting more taxes and more fees from the citizens of Maryland? I hope so. Our elected leaders should get to work and find a way.
Nancy Cantville, Eldersburg