Robert Lang & Tyler Waldman
December 21, 2017

While President Donald Trump and other Republicans are claiming victory with the tax reform bill now on the president’s desk, the bill is getting its share of criticism in Maryland.

Vinny DeMarco, president of the Maryland Citizens Health Initiative, is calling on state lawmakers to restore the individual mandate requiring people to purchase health insurance. Congress repealed the mandate in the tax bill which was a key component of the Affordable Care Act. DeMarco says repealing the mandate will damage health insurance markets and lead more people to go without insurance.

Franklyn Baker, CEO of the United Way of Central Maryland, believes the tax bill will lead to fewer donations. Baker told reporters that because the tax bill increases the individual tax exemption, taxpayers will have less incentive to itemize deductions, and therefore will make fewer charitable contributions. Baker told reporters Wednesday that the United Way estimates donations may drop anywhere from 2 to 5 percent, because of the tax bill.

On Wednesday, Gov. Larry Hogan announced that he would introduce legislation next month to lessen its impact of the tax bill on Marylanders.

Hogan described his legislation as “tax relief” for people who would face higher federal taxes under the bill.

On Tuesday, he said Comptroller Peter Franchot’s office is still in the process of analyzing the bill’s impact on Maryland.

“However, it is very clear that due to the loss of several longstanding federal tax deductions and exemptions, Maryland state revenue will likely increase by hundreds of millions of dollars,” Hogan said at Wednesday’s meeting of the Board of Public Works in Annapolis. “Our goal will be to leave that money in the pockets of hardworking Marylanders.”

Last modified: January 4, 2018