MACo Legislative Director Andrea Mansfield testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on February 27 urging the Committee not to adopt tax reforms that reduce county income taxes without any local action or input. The four bills being heard that day HB 99 (Income Tax Subtraction Modification – Retirement Income of Law Enforcement, Correctional Officer, Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Services Personnel (Hometown Heroes), HB 488 (Income Tax Subtraction Modification – Retirement Income of Law Enforcement, Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Services Personnel), and HB 482 and HB 714 (Income Tax – Subtraction Modification – Military Retirement Income) would expand or create income tax subtraction modifications for various classes of retires.
Ms. Mansfield testified, “MACo has supported legislation in the past to provide broad authority to enact tax incentives for economic development and tax relief purposes, but would prefer approaches that provide local autonomy to determine the best way to provide these incentives, rather than those that mandate reductions in local revenue sources.
MACo recently adopted a broad policy statement which seeks to clarify its general position on tax incentives and local decision-making. MACo’s preference is that proposals affecting local revenue sources be enacted as a “local option.” This approach would give counties maximum flexibility to achieve local goals.
In her closing comments, Ms. Mansfield stated, “Counties welcome the chance to work with state policymakers to develop flexible and optional tools to create broad or targeted tax incentives, but resist state-mandated changes that preclude local input.”