Senate Leaders Discuss Tax Relief, Minimum Wage, and Stormwater Management Fees

Senate leaders meeting with a Howard County business group, spoke about the likelihood of legislation passing in the upcoming session to provide tax relief to small businesses, increase the minimum wage, and repeal the stormwater management fee that applies to 10 jurisdictions.  As reporter by

Speaking to a Howard County Chamber of Commerce breakfast, Sen. Ed Kasemeyer, chairman of the Budget and Taxation Committee, said that a work group of his committee wants to “do something” on the subchapter-S small business pass-through tax rate. Pass-through tax businesses pay tax on business income at the individual rate.

Subchapter-S corporations are set up so that the corporation’s earnings are not taxed, but are distributed to individual private owners, who then pay personal income tax on the earnings.

With respect to the minimum wage, “There was general agreement even from Republicans who opposed the move that some increase in the Maryland minimum wage of $7.25 an hour would pass this session.”

Legislators predicted that efforts to repeal the stormwater management fee would not be successful, but changes could be likely.

There’s a wide range of charges being applied to different homeowners, businesses and nonprofit organizations. In some counties, leaders have opted to charge a very minimal fee — such as Frederick County’s 1-cent fee — drawing criticism from state agencies who say they are not complying with the law. The law did not set a specific tax rate.

“All these things should have been uniform,” said Kasemeyer, who thought it was a basic mistake that the 2012 legislation was not referred to his tax committee.

“I think there’s still room for negotiation,” he said. “I think it can be improved on.”