Del. Glass: “This is Not a Tax on Harford County Residents; It is a Means to Increase Tourism in Our Wonderful County”

From Del. Glen Glass:

Dear Constituent,

A bill that I worked on with my Democratic colleague, Delegate Mary-Delany James, was recommitted back to committee today. HB 1395 promoted tourism and economic growth in Harford County and would have given the Harford County Council the authority to impose a hotel rental tax, up to 6%.

Many local businesses in the route-40 corridor contacted me, as well as: County Executive David Craig, Major Bennett of Aberdeen and Major Dougherty of Havre de Grace to support legislation for tourism and economic growth for the County. Because this is not a tax on the citizens of Harford County, but a way to support local development, I helped to get it out of committee by co-sponsoring the bill. Today, after one of our Harford County Delegates asked questions about the bill, it was sent back to the committee, where it is buried for another year

The hotel rental tax would not have affected Harford County residents or individuals of lower income who usually stay in hotels with less than 25 or fewer sleeping rooms that are three miles off of the interstate.

This is a good bill, especially since Harford County is the only jurisdiction in Maryland that does not impose a hotel rental tax. This enabling legislation that would have to be approved by the County Council is a way to get the money back that we are spending out of state and bring it into our local economy.

Harford County, especially Aberdeen and Havre de Grace which lost 90% of their highway user revenue would have benefited highly from this bill. The $3.1 million would have also helped support tourism-related businesses in Harford County which would have benefitted from increased funding for county promotions. Every dollar the county spends on tourism is estimated to generate twenty dollars worth of revenue.

I’d like to repeat, I am not for taxing our citizens. However, this is not a tax on Harford County Residents; it is a means to increase tourism in our wonderful County. The Hotels are for it, the County Executive and the Majors are for it and I am for this bi-partisan legislation because it is good for our businesses to have more people coming to our county.

Your Servant and Delegate


  1. not leaving soon enough says

    Dear leaving:

    Harford county is not a vacation destination. People come here because they have too and are ripe for the picking of a hotel tax.

    • TPP says

      You mean Marylanders, not just Harford County residents are ripe for the picking of other taxes as well!

      I am abandoning ship and looking to leave MD by the end of this year. Between the various taxes being raised – gas, hotel, possibly alcohol, tobacco, sales, and income, as well as the gun control about to pass I’ve absolutely had it with this State. This State is a failed State. The policies that the politicians foolishly make are hurting everyone economically as well as stripping their civil liberties and freedoms. A lot of businesses and millionaires have packed up and headed to more business friendly states. Also alot of gun owners are heading over the border to gun friendly and concealed carry states.

      I can not afford to live hear anymore. The State government is out of control with its tax and spend policies.

      • How About Dis SHIZNIT says

        Don’t worry, it’ll catch back up with you no matter where you go.

        Take a look at Colorado.

      • Luther Lingus says

        Myself along with at least 10 other people I know are contemplating this move away from The Peoples Republic of Taxland as we speak.

  2. Christina Trotta says

    While I agree with Del. Glass on many issues, I am not a fan of a hotel tax which would create a ‘need’ to increase the budget of the Office of Tourism and Marketing by $1 million or more a year. Especially at a time when the national and state government has a freeze on most hiring, and teachers are fighting for a cost of living increase. Perhaps if the Office of Economic Development wants to increase marketing effectiveness, it could host a marketing event for hoteliers and site owners and give them the tools and the freedom to spend their own money. Taxes and bigger government aren’t always the answer.

  3. TPP says

    Del. Glass,

    I’m a Harford County resident and find your reason FOR the tax to be ridiculous. You say that it won’t impact the lower class who often book rooms in small motels/hotels of less than 25 rooms and less than 3 mile from the interstate. So just because I am not “lower class” that means that I can afford a tax? Sounds like you’re part of the 99%, tax the “rich”, they can afford it! Taxation is theft. If you guys in the general asylum actually cut spending and balanced the budget you wouldn’t have to tax hardworking blue collared citizens.

    If I book a conference or reception at the Holiday Inn in Aberdeen or Ramada Inn in Edgewood and provide rooms for the guests will I, a Harford County citizen, be taxed? The answer is yes, therefore this tax does tax Harford County citizens.

    Please explain to me how a tax is “good for business”, that’s a new one to me. Sounds like O’Malley raising taxes to be “competitive” with DC meanwhile losing business to VA. Taxes won’t be paid by businesses, because they WILL NOT take a loss, the cost of the tax will be paid by the consumer.

    Also in one paragraph you say “this is a good bill” as well as the County Executive is for it as well as Majors. What does “Majors” mean? Vinne DeMarco? Whenever the government is for something I am cautious. The government picks winners and losers and only cares to feed itself.

    • Delibertly Delicious says

      TPP, you and your ilk can get the “F” out of my Maryland as soon as possible. Taxation is NOT theft (what an idiotic thing to state!) And Glen Glass means “Mayors”, not “Majors” (although I don’t know if it was a typo because it WAS redundant!) And by the way, the General Assembly balances the budget EVERY year (constitutionally mandated!)

      • F.L. says

        Taxation is theft and abuse by those in power when not used as sold. “MTF” and “Ches. Bay Fund?” Slush funds for politicians. Nothing more, nothing less. Balance of the budget is done by the majority which is Liberals. OWE’Malley, as with his twin brother OWE’Bama, are trying to spend their way out of economic disaster. AIN’T gonna work. Basic economics “101.” OWE’Malley, and cronies, are relying HEAVILY on the Federal Work Force residing in MD. to bail him out.

      • B says

        Maryland’s “balanced budget” doesn’t include pension obligations and other retirement liabilities from state employees.

      • TPP says

        By balance the budget I was talking about the State’s income vs. expenses. If they didn’t spend so much money then they wouldn’t have to balance the budget, which is mandated by the constitution as you stated, on the backs of hard working Marylanders by raising taxes. If they cut spending and spent within their budgetary means they wouldn’t have to raise taxes and fees EVERY session. A fee is a tax, right?

        Taxation is theft and violates the principle of private property ownership and contracts.
        If your house is paid off and you “own” it then how come if you don’t pay your property taxes the gov. will confiscate your property? Then the question is who really owns your property you or the gov.? For contracts two sovereign parties have an agreement and exchange of property/services/labor/etc. The government interferes with the transaction by FORCING its hand in and stealing a set amount from the transaction, without consent from both parties.

        Be a good little statist sheep and happily pay your taxes without questioning it, it’s your patriotic duty, For The Motherland.

  4. Jon Schaeffer says

    When did it become the job of government to promote tourism? This is about the proper role of government and not the end result of your tax. You argue that the tax is for the greater good of the people which is the same argument we see used in favor of Obamacare, Helmet laws, Social security, and on and on. I suppose all of the people you mentioned are in favor of the tax as they are all on the government payroll Glenn. I for one am sick of development in Harford County.
    Lastly, if the hotel companies and all of the local tourist attractions wish to raise prices and join together in a consortium to promote tourism they are free to do so. They don’t need government to get in the way. Why do you want to promote Government Gone Wild?

  5. Don McCreesh says

    Mr. Glass,

    Most of the hotel stays in Harford county are related to APG. That means that they are government employees or governement contractors. Guess who pays for the slaries and the traveling expenses of these people and their hotel stays??? The Harford county citizens through their Federal taxes. It’s another tax on the citizens of Harford county by another politician who ran on “no new taxes”.

    We’re not this dumb,
    Don McCreesh

    • Because says

      Add to this the ability of government employees to use a tax exempt status when they stay on government related travel. In other words, no tax will be collected as a result of government related travel which is the major reason people travel here.

  6. George says

    You’re telling me that one delegate asking questions sent the bill back to committee? Must have been some pretty good questions. Or could delegate glass just not answer?

  7. Pavel314 says

    Typical politician; let’s rob the people traveling through Harford and use the money for some government project which will only produce more patronage jobs for the supporters of the politicians. If you want to increase tourism, how about advertising up and down I-95 that Harford County is the one place where they WON’T be charged a local hotel tax? Not the sort of thing the politicians would think of because it might actually have positive results without letting them get their hands in someone’s pocket.

  8. i was here first says

    What’s Maryland without all the government contractor jobs? A tourist state for the Chesapeake bay, agriculture on the eastern shore and a few popular medical facilities.

  9. amazed says

    Try as I might I can only see this tax as what it is… a government mandated theft of funds to be used to benefit a subset of the population. It’s unfair and discriminatory. If the government is going to get into the business of fundraising and marketing for the tourism industry, it must provide support to any and all businesses that might request it. And as far as the other counties that do this; shame on them too. They should be sued to stop the practice.

  10. B says

    Justifying a tax increase by saying it is other people’s money is taking one from the liberal playbook.

    • The Money Tree says

      Agreed – poorest justification for anything is that everyone else does it.

  11. Mr. Moderate says

    Most readers of the Dagger certainly seem to be the most unhappy people in the country! It sure must be hard for them to get up in the morning.

  12. Mr. Reality says

    What human in their “RIGHT” wants another “TAX” placed upon them. A true democrap move! This is Harford county, the county that Booed Mary O’Tax-me out of the 4th of july parade. We do not need ANY more taxes!

  13. B says

    I am waiting for Mr. Glass to respond like he has recently on other posts, yet all I hear are crickets.

  14. Roman says

    Actually, I do support this tax which won’t affect Harford County residents. Some level of taxation is needed to support the local govts that don’t have the tax percentages that used to be sent by the state. Most other counties in MD have a similar hotel tax. It is a tax on people visiting our county on business, work or tourism. Govt does have to pay its bills, I rather have others pay it than our residents pay it. Those that don’t agree have their on opinion and you are welcomed to join their ranks, move to PA where you’ll have to pay a school tax on top of your property taxes too.

    • B says

      Agreed that there has to be taxes to support the local government, however those so willing to take it from other people instead of paying it themselves are supporting theft. All of these hidden fees and taxes are designed to milk more money from us, without it being obvious how much is being taken.

      Continuing down this path of deceptive taxation allows government to continue waste and fraud.

  15. smith says

    I would rather see a few proposals for what the money would be used for. The tourism director of Harford county should be replaced ASAP. Ever time I see an add for Maryland and its counties, Harford is always missing. From what I understand funds for these adds are often given back by the state. The current tourism director seems to spend more time posting videos about herself then doing anything for the actual county. Again what is it that they need the money for? Willing to bet the money will be wasted.

  16. Brianc says

    I don’t have much skin in this game as it comes to this tax. But I hate when they use this logic:
    “This is a good bill, especially since Harford County is the only jurisdiction in Maryland that does not impose a hotel rental tax.” Turns me right off. Just because another jurisdiction is doing it doesn’t mean squat.

  17. Ron G says

    Why do I pay Aberdeen and Harford County property tax. Aberdeen does nothing that Harford already does, so I should pay just one of them not both.