News from Annapolis
2020 Session:                            Delegate Trent Kittleman - District 9A
Week Seven
   *  Sneaky TAX is coming soon!
   *  Women's Veterans Day Event
   *   From My  Constituents  
   *  Census 2020: What, Why & When
   *  Legislative Scholarship application 
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When is a Tax Decrease 
actually a  Tax Increase ?
        Many of us in the legislature have been wondering HOW the sponsors of the Kirwan Education Bill (HB1300) planned to find the billions of new dollars needed to fund it.
        We just found out!  Late last week, HB1628 appeared.  Titled " Sales and Use Tax - Rate Reduction and Services," the bill does two things:  
  1. It reduces the state sales tax from 6% to 5%.  
  2. It applies the 5% sales tax to services
  • This is not a tax REDUCTION; this is a 52% tax increase.
  • This will be the largest tax increase in Maryland's history.
  • This tax will cost Maryland families an average of $1,700 per year
  • The sales tax is the most regressive tax we pay, having the most impact on those least able to afford it. 
  • Marylanders (94%)  have made it very clear that they already pay enough or too much in taxes; over 50% say they are not willing to pay higher taxes to fund education!
Below is a sample of the services that will be subject to this tax, absent changes in the bill:
Grocery delivery
Trash Services
Pet Sitting
Pet Grooming
Dog Walking
Personnel Supply
Dry Cleaning
Transportation (Taxis, Uber, Charter Buses)
Financial Planning
Food Delivery (Grub Hub)
Public Relations
Docking or Landing
Shoe Repair
Handy Man
Septic Pumping
House Cleaning
Barber Shops
Beauty Salons  
Nail Salons
News Syndication
Title Searches
Media Streaming (Netflix)
Internet Services
Commercial Photography
Exterminating/Pest Control
Mold/Water Remediation
Environmental Remediation
Accounting & Tax Preparation
Real Estate
Mortuary and Funeral
Cable Television
Money Orders
Consumer Credit Counseling
Internet Job/Resume Listing
Snow Plowing
Carpet/Upholstery Cleaning
Gutter Cleaning
Chimney Cleaning
Packaging Services
Recyclable Collection
Brush Collection/Removal
Lead Paint Abatement
Guide Services (Hunting,
      Fishing, Tour)
Car wash/detailing
Automotive Inspection
Repair services
Service Dog Training
Doula/Midwife Services
Personal fitness training
House Sitting
Identify Theft Protection
        There are also seven categories of services that are exempt: ..

           According to NCSL (the National Conference of State Legislatures),  onl y four othe r states broadly tax services: Hawaii, New Mexico, South Dakota, and West Virginia.  Many states have attempted to do so but failed, in part because of strong opposition, and in part because of the difficulty of implementing such a tax.
        Governor Hogan condemned the Democratic proposal to to expand the sales tax to include professional services, saying the change would "destroy our economy."
        "It's a tax on single moms," he said.  "It's not ever going to happen while I'm governor.  I can promise you."
        Let's hope the Governor, with help from the legislative minority, can, indeed, kill this bill!
        A recent article in Maryland Matters   shows support for funding Kirwan may be in serious trouble.  According to a recent poll by Goucher College, Marylanders believe that:
  • "Public schools in Maryland don't receive enough state funding." (69%)
  • Teachers are underpaid (85%), and 
  • "Many public school buildings and facilities in Maryland are run-down." (76%)
    Marylanders say NO to more taxes!
          HOWEVER, when asked about increasing taxes to remedy these problems, support dropped rather dramatically.
        Thirty-seven percent of Marylanders would rather keep state services and taxes where they are.  Twenty-eight percent said they would rather have fewer state government services in order to reduce taxes.
        Only 28% of those surveyed said they would be willing to pay more in taxes if it meant improved state services.
        Supporters of HB 1628 are going to face a tsunami of citizen resistance to the bill.
The Womens Legislative Caucus Celebrates  Women Veterans
And You are Invited
From my constituents
        One of the things I most enjoy in my job as a legislator is hearing  from -- and talking with -- my constituents.
        In this day and age, I seldom get an actual hand-written letter via snail mail.  Email has taken over -- and that's a good thing.  Email let's you contact me much faster, which is often critical during this fast-paced 90-day session.
        I thought you might be interested in an overview of the nature and number of emails that I've gotten thus far this year. 
        Most of the emails I receive are from constituents, or from Howard Countians.  But every now and then, an issue becomes so important that I get emails from all over the state -- and LOTS OF THEM!  
        The text of House Bill 1628 -- the Tax Bill I wrote about above -- has been available only since this past Thursday, February 20th.  To date, I've received 3,382 emails opposing it!   This is certainly a mass mail effort, but when I saw that number I had to call my legislative aide to be sure it was right!  I can't recall ever getting so many emails about one issue.
        But the HB1628 tax bill is an aberration.  Here is a list of the topics that have garnered the most comments from my constituents this year, in order:
  • Oppose Taxing Services HB1628
  • Oppose becoming a Sanctuary State  HB402 & HB667 
  • Oppose local School Redistricting bill Ho.Co. 1-20
  • Support (some Oppose) Blueprint for Maryland's Future in education - HB1300
  • Oppose raising tax on cigars from 15% to 86% and on pipe tobacco from 30% to 86% - HB 732
  • Oppose gun legislation - HB04 (1 in support)
  • Support for Governor Hogan's Crime bills 
  • Support for (and Opposition to) Banning Chlorphrifos - HB 229
  • Oppose End of Life Option - HB643
  • Support for expanding Sunday Hunting opportunities - HB173
        There are many more emails from constituents supporting and opposing a wide variety of issues.  I try to answer each email as quickly as possible, with the help of my invaluable legislative aide, Chelsea Murphy, but not until I have personally written, edited or okayed my response.  
        As the session passes its midpoint of the 90 days, the speed at which we have to act becomes overwhelming.  You may notice a delay in my responses.  However, even if my response is delayed, I will have read your email and considered your opinion before the bill you are concerned about comes up for a vote. 
        Thank you all, so much, for letting me know how you feel about the bills we consider each year.  Your voices are invaluable in helping me make decisions.
Census 2020:  What, Why, & When?
WHAT the Ten-Year Census is Here!
        Every ten years, the U.S. counts how many people live here and where they live.  It's important that we don't miss anyone.  The distribution of federal funding and redistricting are based on the Census numbers.  Maryland receives over $16 billion annually in federal funding.   Every Marylander not counted represents $18,250 in missed federal funds over the ten-year period.
WHY:  It's Your Civic Duty -- AND, it's the Law 
        The authority for the census process appears in the Constitution in Article 1, Section 2:
"The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct."
WHEN: Beginning on March 12, you can get the form
  • March 12 through April 30:  Self-Response Time
  • March 12 - Form available online and over the phone
  • March 12-20 - Mailing 1: Invitation to complete the Census
  • March 16-24 - Mailing 2: Reminder Letter
  • March 26-April 3 - Mailing 3: Reminder postcard
  • April 1 - Census Day 
  • April 8-16 - Mailing 4: Reminder letter plus paper Census form
  • April 20-27 - Mailing 5: "It's not too late" postcard
  • May 13 - July 31 - Non-Response Follow-Up
  • Enumerators begin canvassing
HOW:  Online for the First Time

        Maryland's Data Center projects began to plan for Census-taking back in 2015, the first year of the Hogan administration.  
        The team has developed an interactive dashboard improvement to the Response Outreach Area Mapper (ROAM) tool that is tailored to Maryland.  The U.S. Census Bureau cites it as a national model. 
Will My Data Be Secure?  
        In today's technology-based civilization, we all worry about the privacy of the personal information we voluntarily or are required to enter into data bases of all kinds.  
        The U.S. Census Bureau assures us that the security of our data is a top priority.  The Bureau follows industry best practices and federal requirements,  and has IT infrastructure that is designed to defend against and contain cyber threats. 
        Let's hope their systems are secure ( particularly from those Russians who seem to love meddling in our elections.)
Monumental Effort

        Maryland has been planning for this Census-taking for the last five years.  The effort involves most State agencies, every county, many cities and towns and a number of non-profit organizations.  Local governments and organization are better positioned to reach some of the most challenging segments of Maryland's population.
The Census is Expensive  ..

          Maryland will invest approximately $10 million to fund the process of Census-taking this year.  The larger expenses include the grants made to the local jurisdictions that volunteer to undertake grassroots efforts to find and count everyone within their perview. 
        Each county received a grant from the State.   The nine largest counties got individual grants and are required to match that amount from local funds.  Howard and Carroll were among the nine, with Carroll receiving $40,000 and Howard receiving $150,240.  The largest grant went to Montgomery County, at  $581,700.  
        The 15 smaller counties each got $20,000 and are not required to invest matching funds.  To see the exact amount awarded to each county, city, town, or non profit, click here.
        Two years ago, during early planning, the Maryland General Assembly passed the "2020 Census Grant Program."  Under the terms of this legislation, towns, cities and non-profit organizations were given until March 2019 to apply for funding by submitting a proposal describing how the entity was going to make a difference in getting accurate counts in their jurisdictions.   The award winners were announce on April 1, 2019.
      These awards were divided between large-entity awards that required a matching grant, and small-entity awards that did not required matching.
      For the 25 larger entities, grants range from $15,000 for the City of Greenbelt and the Washington County Commission on Aging to $447,614 to Casa de Maryland, Inc. 
        Twenty-Three+ smaller entities received grants ranging from from a low of $3,940 to be shared among Marydel, Goldsboro, Henderson, Hillsboro, and Templeville to a high of $19,000 given to District Heights, Hyattsville, Glenarden, Annapolis, and Bladensburg.
Advertising Budget: $1.6 million
        In addition to all of the outreach efforts from government and non-profit agencies, Maryland will also spend $1.6 million for paid advertising.  Here is how the money will be spent:

Maryland Public Television.........................$510,000
Broadcast TV Media Buy................. ............$21,000
MPT Statewide Media Buy..........................   $9,000
Long-Form Feature Video..........................$375,000
Broadcast Radio Media Buy.........................$25,000
MPT Production Fees................................$295,000
Digital Advertising Services Media Buy........$25,000
Bus Signs.....................................................................................................$90,000
Print materials...............................................................................................$20,000
Digital Audio Services Media Buy   (Pandora radio,etc.)...............................$25,000
Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) media buy...  .................$30,000
Baltimore Sun/Washington Post Digital Publishing.......................................$30,000
Delegate Kittleman Scholarship
District 9-A Residents:
        High school seniors, current undergraduate students at a 4-year college, a community college, or a private career school are eligible to apply for a Legislative Scholarship.

  For questions regarding the application process, call my Annapolis office and speak with Chelsea Leigh Murphy, my Legislative Aide, at 410-841-3556.
Please be sure to have your completed application postmarked 
by April 1, 2020     
Delegate Trent Kittleman
District 9A, Western Howard County and Southern Carroll County (Sykesville)
Room 202, Lowe House Office Building
6 Bladen Street,   Annapolis, MD 21401
410-841-3556  *   Trent.Kittleman@House.State.MD.US
Interim Office
3000 Kittleman Lane,  West Friendship, MD 21794
301-661-3344  *
Administrative AideChelsea Leigh Murphy