Excise Tax

Every dollar state and local government spends is a dollar it needs to collect from its citizens via taxes. This basic concept reiterates that, unlike the federal government, which can print money, state and local governments must rely on tax dollars to pay for debt services. Therefore, I am deeply saddened that my consistent warnings of excessive government spending resulting in tax increases are being ignored.

Last Tuesday, the Board of County Commissioners of St. Mary's implemented a new excise tax in exchange for an impact fee for new home construction. The implementation of the new excise tax was promised to be revenue neutral. However, 3 of the 5 County Commissioners used it as an opportunity to grab revenue. Commissioners Hewitt, Guy, and Ostrow voted in favor of the new tax, leaving only Commissioners Colvin and Alderson against it. As a result, the new excise tax for St. Mary's County will result in a nearly $4 million tax on the private sector, including small businesses looking to expand. This decision comes less than six months after an election in which the same three county commissioners voting in favor of the new proposal promised not to raise taxes.

I thank Commissioner Eric Covin for his leadership and defense against raising this tax. He was very articulate and made several reasonable, fiscally conservative, and logical arguments during the discussion. Commissioner Covin did a great job. I encourage everyone interested in this topic to watch the short video snippet from last week's voting session during the County Commissioners' meeting and decide for yourself. I find the conversation fascinating. https://youtu.be/sPxrK34XwoU