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Maryland House Takes Up State Budget

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The Maryland House of Delegates is scheduled to take up the state budget plan today, although a final vote on the spending package could take days.

An increase to the state's income tax is a major part of the budget plan that delegates will start debating today. Earlier this week, a House committee made changes to an income tax hike approved in the Senate, doing away with a plan to tax those who make $500,000 dollars per year or more at the highest rate possible. 

House majority leader Del. Kumar Barve (D) said he knows of no other state that taxed income that way.

"The overall philosophy of the House was to make sure the vast majority of Maryland residents would not see an increase or any change in their income tax," Barve said. "And we succeeded. 87 percent of Marylanders will see no changes in their taxes."

Those making $100,000 or less won't see an increase under the House plan. The income tax hike is far from the only controversial measure included in the budget, and lawmakers are planning for a rare weekend session on Saturday, should they need the time.

Once the House passes a budget, it goes to the Senate, and any changes made there must be reconciled with the House before Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) can sign it.

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