ANNAPOLIS - Maryland residents earning more than $100,000 annually would pay higher taxes under a $35.5 billion budget plan lawmakers easily passed Wednesday afternoon.
The General Assembly returned to Annapolis on Monday for a special session more than a month after it failed to pass a complete budget package during the 90-day session. It took them only three days to pass a budget plan with tax increases and a shift of hundreds of millions of dollars in teacher pension costs to local jurisdictions over the next four years.
Forty percent of the money raised from the tax increase would come from Montgomery County, where 23.3 percent of earners would pay more.
Overall, nearly 14 percent of state residents would pay higher taxes, with 9.5 percent of Prince George's County residents paying extra, according to a state fiscal analysis. The tax hikes would apply retroactively to January.
While some lamented the fact that lawmakers had to come back to Annapolis at all, Democratic leadership said the special session was necessary to avoid more than $500 million in spending cuts — a contingency budget plan that took effect when lawmakers failed to complete their work on time in April.
“It would have been much more appropriate to have done it during the 90-day session, there’s no doubt about that,” said House Speaker Michael Busch, D-Anne Arundel. “But I think everyone felt responsible when we left here without a final product and we were governing by default. No one wanted to do that.”
A spokeswoman for Gov. Martin O’Malley said it is not clear when he will sign the budget bills.