MACo Wants More Local Flexibility in Economic Development Plan

MACo Policy Analysts, Robin Clark, testified to the Senate Budget and Tax Committee, urging the committee members to support with amendments SB 507, Maryland Strong Manufacturing Development Act on March 12, 2015. This bill creates an economic development tool to help foster manufacturing growth within local jurisdiction.

The written testimony explains:

SB 507 creates a Manufacturing Development Zones program administered by the Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED). The purpose of the program is to encourage businesses that have manufacturing facilities outside of the state to move them to Maryland. The bill targets heavy manufacturing, defined as large scale projects that include construction, mining, and metal processing. However, the bill excludes certain types of manufacturing such as papers and textiles. There is some concern that the definition and exclusions may leave out large-scale projects that may be of benefit and interest to jurisdictions applying for zone designation.

The amendments MACo recommends should provide local government with more flexibility, specifically in regards to the incentives given to qualified businesses.

For more on MACo 2015 legislation, visit the Legislative Database.