As scandals continue to swirl around Hillary Clinton, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is positioning himself for a run for the Democratic nomination. He is relatively young, telegenic, and well-spoken. However, O’Malley has a record that includes tax hikes so large that they turned off even Democratic-dominated Maryland.
As I discuss in the Daily Caller today, O’Malley:
- Raised the top personal income tax rate from 4.75 to 5.75 percent. With local taxes on top, Maryland’s top rate is 8.95 percent.
- Raised the corporate tax rate from 7.0 to 8.25 percent.
- Raised the sales tax rate from 5 to 6 percent and expanded the sales tax base.
- Raised the sales tax rate on beer, wine, and spirits by 50 percent.
- Raised the gas tax by 20 cents over four years, almost doubling the rate from 23.5 cents.
- Doubled the cigarette tax from $1 to $2 per pack.
- Imposed higher taxes on vehicle registration.
- Imposed a stormwater mitigation fee on property owners, or a “rain tax.”
O’Malley raised taxes on everybody, and by 2014 Marylanders had finally had enough. In the gubernatorial election, Republican Larry Hogan pulled off a stunning upset over Democrat Anthony Brown based on his promise to roll back some of O’Malley’s tax increases.
The choice then for Democrats is whether unpopular tax increases are the type of “hope and change” they want to run on in 2016.