This is why I like living in Maryland:
More than 300,000 Maryland residents will pay higher income taxes under a package given final approval by the legislature Wednesday...
The legislation — passed by the Senate on Tuesday and the House on Wednesday — will also widen the income tax divide between Maryland and Virginia. Maryland’s new top state-local tax bracket will tie the District’s for fourth-highest in the nation, at 8.95 percent. Across the Potomac, the top rate in Virginia is 5.75 percent...
The General Assembly adjourned its annual session April 9 in disarray, having approved a spending plan but not a revenue bill that was widely expected to pass. Without reconvening to approve the tax increases, the spending plan would have required more than $400 million in cuts to schools and state programs beginning July 1.
Cuts to classrooms, libraries and police in Prince George’s would have topped $65 million, boosting the county’s projected shortfall by 50 percent. Montgomery County would have lost more than $41 million, with a similar effect on its budget gap.
Bravo, Governor O'Malley and all legislators who voted to raise my taxes. I applaud you. I am not being ironic.
I live in one of the nicest counties in the United States, Montgomery. Taxes are high. But services are high too. The parks are great. The library system is fantastic. The public infrastructure is, well, heaving under lots of traffic, but even so it's good.
And the schools are (mostly) pretty amazing. There are of course differences between the upper-middle-class and lower-middle-class sections of the county. But as far as I know all the schools are at least pretty good. And the best ones...choosing among Whitman, Walter Johnson, and BCC (the Bethesda-Chevy Chase high schools) is like choosing among Harvard, Princeton, and Columbia.
I'm quite happy, then, to pay my share. It may cost me a little more, but there are so many returns. And they're not all indirect. Some are quite direct--the value of my home, for example, is far greater than it would otherwise be because of those parks and libraries and schools. This really is a case where the individual good and the common good are very clearly connected to each other.
I've never understood why Democrats don't talk about this sort of thing more than they do. It's a great example for the even crotchety right-wingers who live in counties like mine. Your house has added value, pal, and you therefore have more wealth, precisely because you live in a high-tax environment where the money is well spent, and where people will always want to buy your house when you're ready to sell. Except for Elizabeth Warren, Democrats are afraid to talk like that.