Despite hopes that it could raise billions of dollars for Maryland’s public school improvements, a proposal to expand the state sales tax is gaining significant opposition. Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday presented the plan, which would drop the sales tax from 6% to 5% and expand it to professional services — ranging from haircuts to landscaping to lawyers. A nonpartisan analysis estimates that by 2025, adding a 5% sales tax on services would bring in $3.7 billion more per year and could help pay for education reforms. Reporters Pamela Wood and Luke Broadwater are on Facebook Live to talk about the proposed sales tax expansion, opposition and support for the bill, and what other options exist to fund Maryland education reforms.
In the video above, our reporters also discuss possible legislation that would involve a $389 million plan to renovate Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore and Laurel Park in Anne Arundel County. They also answer reader questions about exemptions in the sales tax expansion and whether Gov. Larry Hogan is offering alternative solutions to avoid increasing taxes for funding education, among other topics.
Pamela and Luke appear live on The Baltimore Sun Facebook Page at noon every Monday during Maryland’s General Assembly session to share what’s on their radar and take your questions. You can submit a Maryland politics question for next week using the form below. Can’t get enough politics? Consider signing up for our newsletter as well.