Maryland is a ‘merry’ land indeed even though the state is claimed to be named after Queen Henrietta Maria the wife of English King Charles the first. I have a few favorite places in Maryland, and like almost all of my ‘favorite places’ they have something to do with ‘good food’. I mean what would the world be without ‘Maryland Crab Cakes’, lots of other places make ‘crab cakes’ but it seems that none of them rank up to par with those made throughout the ‘merry state’ of Maryland. No wonder they are all so ‘merry’, eating the best lump-crab cakes on the planet all the time, and enjoying the state's shoreline. Did you know that 16 of Maryland's 23 counties have shoreline?
Speaking of shorelines, places like Ocean City, especially Fager’s Island, are party central fun time for everyone from family experiences to weddings, couple retreats and boardroom meetings. The hospitality, quinine, accommodations and scenic beauty of that entire area of Maryland makes longing for a costal getaway a memory in the planning. But Maryland is more than just ‘the Atlantic Beach’, it’s also the Chesapeake Bay state and home to almost 6-million residents (19th largest ranked in the US) occupying an area of 12,407 square miles (42nd in size within the US). Of course in my mind all of the residents are there for the crab cakes (lucky, lucky, lucky you). The fact that Maryland has the highest median household income of any state makes it possible for those residents to eat all those crab cakes (enough about the crab cakes Murph). Maryland would be a little larger in terms of size if it hadn't given up land to permit formation of Washington, DC.
While Baltimore, home of the Baltimore Orioles and Baltimore Ravens, is Maryland's largest city. Speaking of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team, did you know that several legendary major league baseball players were born in Maryland including Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken Jr., Billy Ripkinn, Lefty Grove, Frank Baker, Harold Baines, All Kaline, Denny Neagle and Jimmie Foxx. "Play Ball".
Annapolis, home of the U.S. Naval Academy (shown below), is the Capital of Maryland. Annapolis once served as the capital of the US, serving as the seat of the Continental Congress from 1783 until 1784, and was also the site of the 1786 Annapolis Convention which called for the Constitutional Convention a year later. The Maryland State House is the oldest state capitol still in continuous legislative use. Today Annapolis is known as the sailing capital of the world. (I once attended a boat show in Annapolis, I was amazed at the huge sailing yachts on display; millions, not the number of yachts, the price tag of them, they were all in the millions-of-dollars.)
Baltimore was founded in 1729, its inner harbor was once the 2nd leading port of entry for immigrants into the United States. Today Baltimore is still the second largest seaport in the Mid-Atlantic, and a major manufacturing center. Of course, in 1814, a 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet by the name of Francis Scott Key, wrote his famous "Defence of Fort M'Henry" based upon his having witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British Ships located in the Baltimore Harbor during the War of 1812. The poem was later set to tune, and in 1889 was recognized as the Star-Spangled Banner for use by the U.S. Navy, and officially made our country's national anthem on March 3, 1931 by resolution of the U.S. Congress.
Baltimore is a place of firsts. While Baltimore is most noted for the Penn (railroad) Station built there in 1911, it is not the oldest surviving railroad station in America, that distinction belongs to Baltimore's Ellicott City Station of the B&O Railroad which was constructed in 1830. But apparently the 'train' was not the only way to travel in Baltimore, did you know that a 13-year-old Baltimore youth successfully flew in the first manned hot air balloon launch in 1784? The beautiful Baltimore Inner Harbor (shown below) has become the life of the city since development.
I'm sure I am leaving so much out about Maryland, but if it is one thing you take away from all of this, you have just absolutely got to get yourself to Maryland for some 'crab cakes'.
About Sales Taxes and this series:
Thanks to Avalara, the 'tax people', this article is one in a 50 part series covering sales tax issues associated with each and every state tax jurisdiction in the United States. We’re publishing "Sales Tax Tuesday" every week through 2015.
Sales tax provides critical revenue for states. Other than property and income tax, sales tax is the largest source of tax revenue in the majority of the 46 states that collect it. From a government perspective, making sure every sales tax dollar is collected, through audits, fines, penalties rates and rules, is an exercise for income. It’s easy to be lured into a false sense of compliance when it comes to sales tax, this series is intended to insure that you are aware of the key sales tax facts for YOUR state.
Sales Tax Facts:
- Maryland’s state sales tax rate is 6%. There are no local option sales taxes.
- Certain items and rentals are subjected to a higher sales and use tax than the state rate of 6%. These include alcoholic beverages (9%); short-term car and recreational vehicle rentals (11.5%) and short-term truck rentals (8%).
- Most services are exempt from sales tax in Maryland with the exception of janitorial services and security services, which are taxable services at the 6% state rate.
- Maryland is a destination sourcing states. This means that sales tax is based on the location of the buyer, not the seller.
- Maryland is not a member of Streamlined Sales Tax (SST)
- What’s so amusing? In Maryland, when it comes to sales tax, that all depends. The state imposes a local admissions and amusement tax rate from .5% up to 10% on gross receipts from what it deems taxable activities. Different rates apply depending on the activity, where it’s happening, what’s being served and how much is being charged. Have fun figuring all this out!
- Maryland calls “cut” on its film tax credit. Maryland’s film production activity tax credit is set to sunset on July 1, 2016 and analysts are urging the state to call it a wrap. The program was instrumental in getting two political powerhouses produced locally, House of Cards and Veep, but lawmakers aren’t convinced it’s getting enough back on its $62.5 million in subsidies. Maryland is one of 37 states that offers financial incentives to television and film production companies.
Did you know?
Dressing for the job you have. In Maryland, a suit isn’t enough of a business expense to warrant a tax deduction even if it’s required office attire. But if you’re employed as a clown, you can write the clothes off all the way down to the big shoes and red nose. What’s the difference? Usability. If you can wear it somewhere else, it’s not deductible. And, unless you’ve got an odd sense of humor (or you’re the entertainment), a clown suit isn’t appropriate attire for a wedding or a business meeting.
Manual sales and use taxes are prone to error and can consumes hours of your time in collection, accounting and reporting for what is pass-through rather than revenue-generating activities. Avalara provides solutions for sales tax automation, including tax calculation, exemption certificate management, returns processing and 1099 filing and reporting. Automation via Avatax allows businesses to be fully sales tax compliant without sacrificing productivity.
(Now I have made myself hungry for crab cakes, guess I better fly to Maryland, anyone want to join me? - Murph)