Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Welcome to Maryland: taxes, taxes, regulations and more taxes

Welcome to Maryland: Taxes, taxes, regulations and more taxes

Maryland, contrary to Governor O’Malley’s recent public exhortations, is unfriendly to business. In the event you read Maryland’s other major news outlet, they believe the Governor and his legislative minions can do no wrong. Glowing reports emanate daily from that travesty noting how the state is managed with competence and verve. Many of us see disturbing trends the Sun does not want to cover. Maryland’s purported population is slightly under 6 million which nearly matches the number of laws, regulations, rules, edicts and protocols that are enforced by various State and county agencies. More infective are the rules and regulatory structure that have not been put to word, yet are a greater threat to the private sector than their written counterparts. These mindless controls are the weapons of choice that armies of state/county inspectors enforce on an array of businesses to justify their jobs. Overreaching Maryland government not only controls every aspect of your business they force you to pay for it. With the exception of a few states, Maryland is at the very top of the list burdening the workforce with every conceivable levy their minds could conjure. In the event you own a business the levies are exponentially worse. Maryland’s Special Legislative session was convened for one reason, to steal more from its residents (see article entitled: Maryland’s real doomsday budget). Businesses are hit with outrageous licensing fees, tolls that shake the dust out of your wallet, personal property levies, stratospheric workman’s compensation assessments, ridiculous unemployment charges, environmental impact fees and state income taxes that have no ceiling. Businesses that step out of line, the Maryland Attorney General’s Office will be up your backside waiting to drag you through Courts that are very friendly to State administrative agencies. In Maryland the game is fixed. The Courts, administrative entities and the Attorney General’s Office work in unison, not for the benefit of state residents, but for their own self-serving interests. Maryland refuses to consolidate departments and look for efficiencies to balance its budget. O’Malley has a superfluous number of examples to look to that exemplify well run governments. Indiana and Puerto Rico both characterize efficient/well run economies, but they are managed by Republicans. This evil word cannot be used in Annapolis.  It was difficult to find one state managed by democrats that was not in very deep debt. By chance you move to Maryland to start a business, remember three basic points. First: whatever you budget to build out and stock your business put aside an extra 20 to 40 percent for the unexpected zoning requirements, licensing procedures, taxes and lawyer fees necessary to move your company forward. Two: familiarize yourself with county and state regulations pertaining to your unique business, otherwise inspectors will suffocate it to the point of asphyxiation. Three and most important: before you perform the latter two, think twice before opening your doors in Maryland, the grief is not worth the efforts. Mark Davis MD, president of Healthnets Review Services.

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