He talked about his decision to run for chair of the Harford County delegation and why he wants to pass enabling legislation for a county hotel tax.
Patch: How did you make the decision to challenge Del. Rick Impallaria for chairman of Harford County delegation?
Del. Glen Glass: Most of his district is in Baltimore County and I feel that every year we should have a new delegation leader. I just think that it’s good for the county to have someone new every year. And that’s really why I decided to do that.
Patch: Has Del. Impallaria gotten the job done in Harford County?
GG: I have a lot of respect for Rick. He works hard for lower taxes. He’s very pro business, and he’s a very good conservative Republican. And Democrats like him as well. I think overall he’s done a decent job. I just think a little healthy competition would be a good thing.
Patch: How do you get the pulse of what people living in your district want?
Patch: Do people recognize you?
GG: Yeah, but they always think I’m Conan O’Brien.
Patch: Do you use that to your advantage?
GG: No comment (laughs). When I’m out and about, I talk with people. I talk with local leaders. I talk with Democratic leaders, Republican leaders, mayors, leaders in Edgewood and Joppatowne. Face-to-face is the best way to do it.
Patch: You are a member of the Ways and Means Committee. What is the function of that committee?
GG: Anybody in Maryland who wants money has to come through my committee. If they want to increase education funding. If they want to increase taxes–gas tax, alcohol tax–and I’m adamantly opposed to the gas tax and alcohol tax. I’m opposed to increasing taxes on Marylanders and Harford County citizens. But anything that has to do with education, gambling or anything that has to do with increasing or decreasing taxes on transportation, or even immigration, goes through my committee.
Patch: What are your priorities for the session?
GG: My priorities as a delegate are to promote economic freedom and activity and opportunity for all. And I’m going to do this by fighting against a gas tax, fighting against any increased taxes, because most of the taxes that are introduced are regressive, which means they hurt the poor and the elderly the most who can least likely afford it.
Patch: Do you support a hotel tax in Harford County?
GG: I have been tirelessly researching this issue for months, but these are the facts. The hotel tax is not a tax on Harford County citizens or hotels. Businesses and hotel owners want the tax. Harford is the only county without it, and most of money would go toward local tourism.
Citizens of Harford pay hotel fees when they visit other counties and states. Annapolis and the Democratic leadership are not helping Harford County. To me it’s like they’re eating cake, and Harford County citizens are eating the crumbs.
I just believe Harford has an unfair trade agreement and that really, really bothers me. I’ve decided to support a bill that enables the County Council to have the authority to decide this issue.
I think that there are a lot of homeless people, who in the middle of the winter will pool their money, and they will stay at these inexpensive hotels on Route 40. Because this issue affects them, at least $100,000 a year from this revenue should go to a homeless center to help the homeless.
Patch: Have you drafted any legislation?
GG: I’m going to put in several bills to help seniors. One bill states that if you are a senior citizen and you live in your house for 40 years, and it’s paid for that you get a 25 percent break on your property taxes. Seniors are hurting and they need a lot of help.
I’m going to sponsor or co-sponsor a bill that states that all retired military income should not be taxable. I’m an army veteran. You have people who’ve retired from the military and they go to Pennsylvania because they’re military retirement is not taxed there.
I’m going to put in a domestic violence bill that protects women from domestic violence. I put it in last year and it came real close to passing. It went through both houses, but it was sent to the judiciary committee because of some amendments that were very friendly and were added on.
So those are some of the things that I’m going to work on. And I’m open to people sending me emails letting me know what legislation they want me to put in. Both of my bills from last year were ideas from constituents.