From Del. Glen Glass:
Maryland State Delegate Glen Glass, (R-Harford, Cecil), today reaffirmed his Boycott of the proposed Special Session citing the risk of oversaturation if a sixth casino is added. In addition, Glass railed against the fact that part of the deal would include lowering the Corporate Tax Rate on Casinos while Democrats continue to raise income taxes on Marylanders. Governor O’Malley (D) continues to push for a Special Session to take up the expansion of gambling despite growing statewide opposition. Republicans in the House of Delegates are also opposed to the Special Session, but unlike Delegate Glass, they have yet to take a position.
“I thought Democrats were supposed to be champions of the middle class and hate evil corporations,” joked Delegate Glass who is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and Gaming Subcommittee. “The dirty little secret of this deal is that MGM is demanding a reduction in the corporate tax rate. The Governor and Democrats are willing to cut a break on taxes for corporations? Why don’t they cut a break on taxes for Marylanders?
A recent study by Ernst & Young indicates that forty-seven percent (47%) of the revenue at Maryland Live! is being generated by people who live in Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Maryland Live! could stand to lose a large chunk of revenue if a sixth casino is added in the DC area. The Deal to bring MGM Casino to the National Harbor includes lowering the corporate casino tax rate from 67% to 52%, yet Governor O’Malley and Democrats in the State Legislature recently raised state income taxes for individuals during the last Special Session. “The casinos that are currently open have expressed they are just fine with operating at a 67% tax rate,” explained Delegate Glass. “This is what they agreed to based on the understanding of five casinos operating in their current locations, two of which have yet to be up and running. Changing the rules of the game now is unfair to them and sends a bad message to other Maryland businesses as well as entrepreneurs wanting to come to our state.”
Delegate Glass also reiterated that Republicans in the House of Delegates have yet to decide what they will do if a Special Session is called. “I don’t know what they plan to do, I’m the only one that has made a decision thus far. I have urged them to join me in this boycott, and I hope they do. I’m just tired of our party always getting kicked in the teeth, and I believe it’s time to say ‘enough’ and fight back. Because we are consistently outnumbered, we have a natural tendency to lay low and concede, but many are against this, and I believe the time is right to be bold and take a stand.”
As far as reaction from his own constituents, Glass was very upbeat and said, “I can’t tell you how many of my constituents have expressed their support for me in this boycott. There have been some that have criticized me as well as some who are worried that other initiatives separate from gambling could be added to the agenda. The fact is Democrats can do whatever they want because Republicans are outnumbered 2-1 in the House and have only 12 members in the Senate meaning we can’t do much to stop them whether we are there or not. The citizens don’t want this, and my own constituents favor the boycott so I choose to stand with Marylanders and not participate! If other items are added for consideration during a Special Session, I can easily come to Annapolis and vote, but otherwise I will not be in the building for anything related to gambling.”
The Maryland Constitution dictates that a special session should only be called in times of a true crisis. Constitutional provisions for special sessions were established when the Maryland General Assembly held sessions once every two years. Since 2007, Governor O’Malley has called three special sessions, the most recent adjourning on May 16th. The Maryland General Assembly’s special session could cost over $20,000 a day to state taxpayers.
Delegate Glass has served as a member of the House of Delegates since January, 2011. In addition to serving on the Ways and Means Committee and Gaming Subcommittee, he is also a member of the Maryland Veterans Caucus.