If you usually claim the standard deduction on your Maryland income taxes, you can skip this article. It is intended to inform and advise people who usually claim itemized deductions on Maryland income taxes.
What is the problem? The big increase in the standard deduction on Federal tax makes it attractive for people to claim it for 2018. It saves money on federal taxes. If you do that then you cannot claim itemized deductions on your MD taxes. You can estimate how much your MD state and local taxes will increase easily. Look up the amount of itemized deductions on the MD tax return for 2017 Subtract the amount of MD standard deduction: $4,500 for joint filers and $2,250 for single filers. Multiply the result by 8%. That is the amount of the increase in your MD state and local taxes for 2018, roughly. If you don’t like the result, read on.
Let your state legislators know that they need to roll back the increase in MD state and local income taxes on people who claim the Federal standard deduction. The Maryland General Assembly goes into its 90-day session January 9, just two days before our January 11 membership meeting. Call the toll-free number for the General Assembly, 1-800-492-7122, and tell the operator who you want to speak to. When you call a legislator’s office a staff member will usually answer. Say who you are and that you are concerned about not being able to claim itemized deductions on your Maryland taxes.
Key legislators are members of the House Ways and Means Committee (HW&M) and the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee (SB&T.) The Chair of SB&T is Senator Nancy King, District 39. The Chair of HW&M is Del. Anne Kaiser, District 14. Delegate-elect Julie Palakovitch Carr, District 17, will be a new member of HW&M. These senators and delegates have fellow members from their districts who can be called and asked to support legislation to fix the problem.
After legislation is introduced to address the problem there will be hearings by the relevant committees. Usually, there is only about two weeks notice of hearings. It is vitally important that NARFE members be present at those hearings to let the committee members know that the matter is important. You can park at the Navy-Marine stadium lot for $5 and ride a shuttle to the General Assembly area of Annapolis for $1. Hearings usually are scheduled to start at 1:00 pm and there is no telling when the bill of interest will be heard. Look for an email message from Chapter President Charlie Garfinkel to inform you about the key hearings. The website for Maryland General Assembly is at http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frm1st.aspx?tab=home
It is a marvelous source of information about committees, legislators, reports, etc.