As with the Senate plan, the House increases rates for the state's top brackets by a quarter of a percentage point. Unlike the Senate, it resurrects a good idea from Gov.Martin O'Malley's original proposal: limiting personal exemptions for those taxpayers. That change has the benefit of raising more money for both the state and local governments, which to some degree offsets the planned shift of some teacher pension costs to the counties. Finally, the House does away with a Senate provision, potentially unique among the 50 states, that would have created a flat tax of 5.75 percent for those who report more than $500,000 in income. Asking for a larger contribution from the state's wealthiest taxpayers is perfectly reasonable, but that was a bad way of doing it, and the House was right to reject it.