A Republican lawmaker in Maryland introduced a bill to increase ‘accountability’ to protect taxpayers from excessive fees and tax hikes imposed by unelected state agency officials. This initiative comes in response to concerns that radical progressives in the governor’s office and Annapolis are plunging the state into a fiscal crisis over the next five years.
Del. Nino Mangione, R-Baltimore County, told local media outlet Fox45 News that he plans to hold the Maryland General Assembly accountable with the “Taxpayer Disclosure and Protection Act” that aims to eliminate state agencies’ ability to increase fees and taxes without a formal vote in Annapolis.
“I am and remain greatly concerned about the Maryland budget situation and ongoing spending in the Maryland legislature.”
Mangione’s bill was unveiled shortly after Democrat Gov. Wes Moore announced his $63.1 billion state budget proposal on Wednesday.
“I feel we must insist on accountability in any attempt to raise taxes or fees. This is only accomplished by recording various votes on these matters. The taxpayers are entitled to know who voted to increase any tax or fees, which is the purpose of the legislation,” Mangione said.
The lawmaker continued, “I believe we must be transparent with Maryland’s taxpayers, and I feel like we must be transparent on any decision to raise fees or taxes. The continued economic uncertainty has placed us in a situation where we must cut spending. I do not favor raiding our Rainy-Day Fund or using accounting maneuvers to continue to recklessly spend. Above all, I remain opposed to increasing fees and taxes. We need fiscal discipline.”
One example of zero accountability is the Maryland Gas Tax pushed by Democrats in 2012, which automatically increases yearly with no votes or accountability. Even in the worst inflation periods in a generation and the cost of living crisis, the tax went up without a vote.
Mangione’s bill comes as Gov. Moore and radical progressives in the state are depleting the state’s coffers in a reckless spending spree, with projected estimates of a $1.8 billion deficit over the next five years.
Former center-right Gov. Larry Hogan opined in local media outlet the Baltimore Banner that Democrats in the state are spending taxpayer funds like drunken teenagers with a newly minted credit card:
Last year, the legislature adopted a staff recommendation to increase the state’s debt in one year by 40%. This borrowing is akin to building a bridge to nowhere. As in all walks of life, there is no free lunch when it comes to balancing the state’s budget. Passing any operating funds onto the state’s credit card is a dangerous tactic and jeopardizes future opportunities to utilize the credit markets for a true fiscal emergency.
Mangione’s bill may be a blueprint for other state legislators nationwide.