Delegate Liz Bobo, 68, of Columbia, sat down Monday with Patch at to answer questions on Columbia, Howard County, and the General Assembly. Bobo is a Democrat who represents District 12B in Howard County. She chairs the Land Use and Ethics Subcommittee.
Del. Bobo: I respect him coming forward with concrete suggestions. So I’m going to start with something he didn’t do – we still have some significant loopholes in tax paying in our state code. One of which is called combined reporting-- we allow multi-state corporations who do business in Maryland to file their taxes related to profits they make in Maryland in Delaware--and avoid paying substantial amounts of revenue into the Maryland coffers. Last year the bill was in. It’s in again this year. Mid-sized business owners said, ‘Look, you keep telling us …. that small and medium-sized business is the backbone of economy. This loophole is hurting us.’”
What do you think of the proposal to shift part of school pension costs to counties to close the deficit?
I hope we find another way. The main reason is because I don’t believe we value teachers in our culture proportionate to the trust we place in them to teach our kids, and I believe that teachers will be hurt if that shift takes place.
On increasing [taxes] for people in top of income scale, I would be in that income scale. We would make that cut—I’d be pleased to be able to pay that. It’s not that much money.
What about increasing the gas tax?
Gas tax is tougher. I was publicly on record supporting it five years ago. Now, I’m afraid there are people so close to the brink… if they have to travel, I think that increase could put them over the edge. I’m not as quick to say yes to the gas tax that I was five years ago. I know that means I have to go for something else.
Do you think O’Malley’s proposal to legalize same-sex marriage will pass?
I very much want to see that pass. I think there’s a chance. I don’t feel certain about it. People feel very strongly about it. The way I see it, is that whenever there’s any kind of discrimination against anyone, …. I believe we’re all at risk, as long as we make decisions in that way.
Finally, on the local side: What is the biggest issue in Howard County right now you you don’t think is being addressed?
Howard County needs to be aware of where we are positionally – all of this BRAC development heading this way. I don’t know if we have much of a clue of the amount of traffic that’s going to be generated here. It’s real and I don’t think we’re prepared.
Don’t forget, .
I think Wegmans is wonderful too, but we say we want to be a pedestrian, bike-friendly county. I think we‘re suffering a little schizophrenia in this county. Who’s going to bike to Wegmans?