WEEKLY AGITATOR, FEB 18, 2018

Welcome to the Weekly Agitator: who and what you should be angry at, who and where people are organizing about it, and how you can find out more

Reactionary delegates refuse to consider taxing country clubs worth millions

http://www.bethesdamagazine.com/Bethesda-Beat/2018/MoCo-House-Delegates-Reject-Local-Legislation-To-Roll-Back-Country-Club-Tax-Breaks/

Delegate David Moon proposed the state eliminate state level tax regimes that grant massive reductions in property taxes to local, private, country clubs. The bill would have brought in an estimated $10 million, much needed considering the current budget shortfall.

Our delegation likes to bemoan our public monopoly over liquor, established in 1951, as “old” or “outdated”. But they’re shockingly quiet about this 1965 tax statute that keeps private the havens of their rich benefactors. One reactionary in particular had this to say, ““This is a bill that is ostensibly directed to the benefit of the local government…Our local government doesn’t support this, and our county executive has asked us to vote against this. The council has taken no position … I think that speaks volumes.”

This comes from the perpetually-open mouth of Del. Bill C. Frick, who is also running for County Executive. Frick is one of the above-referenced hypocrites who wants to privatize our public liquor control, worth around $30 million a year. So that make around $40 million in revenue Frick has callously refused the workers of Montgomery County. He remain a steadfast proponent of all measures that benefit his wealthy donors.

Marriott pull PR stunt, gets fawning media coverage from Bethesda Beat

 

http://www.bethesdamagazine.com/Bethesda-Beat/2018/Marriott-Plans-To-Distribute–140-Million-To-Employees-After-Benefiting-From-Corporate-Tax-Cuts/

The international hoteliers at Marriot (which, up until recently, included chairwoman of the state Democratic Party Kathleen Matthews) have benevolently granted their employees some crumbs from the capitalist table. The company, which relocates corporate headquarters to downtown Bethesda in 2022, is distributing $140 million to corporate employees’ 401ks and to “eligible associates” [emphasis ours] at its hotels at a $5-to-$1 company match up to $1,000. Meanwhile, the company reports their shareholders are getting $2.5 billion to shareholders plus $3.5 in stock purchases and dividends.

So in an article entitled: “Marriott Plans To Distribute $ 140 Million To Employees After Benefiting From Corporate Tax Cuts”, what we actually have is over $6 billion to shareholders and a sprinkling of contributions to retirement plans of eligible associates (it is highly improbable that those for whom an extra $500-$1000 in their paycheck would make a difference will see any of this).

For more on working conditions of hotel employees, see Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America: Barbara Ehrenreich

Maryland House of Delegates crushes attempt to stall Paid Sick Leave implementation

https://marylandmatters.org/2018/02/16/house-panel-kills-senate-bill-extending-effective-date-of-sick-leave-law/

Nearly 700,000 workers will receive the privilege of not being required to work sick now that the House Economic Matters Committee displayed their collective spin. After the bill’s sponsor from the Senate, Thomas M. “Mac” Middleton (Dem – Charles County), asked if the House Economic Matters Committee if they had questions about his hastily cobbled together bill, Chairman Dereck E. Davis (Dem – Prince George’s) gave the foreboding reply, “We don’t have any questions for the senator, do we? I didn’t think so, sir.”

While workers’ rights are protected today by the House Economic Matters Committee. However, never forget — never ever forget — that it was this same House Economic Matters Committee Chairman Dereck E. Davis who also introduced the loathed bill that would close off any local municipality from raising their minimum wage higher than the state level. Del Davis remains a crony of the National Restaurant Association.

2 Comments

  1. The Moon vote may not be the most substantive piece of legislation this session but it will probably be one of the starkest declarations of which side our delegation is on.

    I decided to go back and see which delegates who voted for tax cuts for country clubs also voted for tax cuts for millionares in 2014 (i.e., the infamous estate tax cut). There’s a lot of overlap.

    These people should all be voted out of office. Fortunately, there are much better alternatives in many of these races.

    Anne Kaiser (District 14)
    Kathleen Dumais (District 15)
    Bill Frick (District 16)
    Ariana Kelly (District 16)
    Kumar Barve (17)
    Jim Gilchrist (17)
    Bonnie Cullison (19)
    Ben Kramer (19)
    Kirill Reznik (39)

    Interestingly, Aruna Miller voted for the estate tax cut in 2014, but backed the Moon bill this time, probably because she’s running for Congress. Roger Manno, one of her opponents in that race, voted the right way both times.

    Others who voted with the people both times were Shane Robinson (39) Ana Sol Gutierrez (18) and Jeff Waldstreicher (18).

    The 2014 estate tax cut vote (Delegates):

    http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?pid=flrvotepage&tab=subject3&id=HB0739,h-0325&stab=02&ys=2014rs

    (and just for fun — or horror — here’s the Senate vote on that ghastly piece of legislation):

    http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?pid=flrvotepage&tab=subject3&id=HB0739,s-0665&stab=02&ys=2014rs

    Like

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