Legislation that would mandate local governments to provide a personal property tax exemption for businesses with personal property of a total assessed value of $10,000 or less failed in the final hours of session. SB 590 is one of Governor Hogan’s 2015 legislative priorities to provide tax relief to small businesses.
As introduced, SB 590 would have also exempted these businesses from filing a personal property tax report and paying the annual filing fee. In addition, the bill would have fully offset the revenue loss to local governments in the first year, phasing out the offset over three years.
As amended by the Senate, small businesses would still need to apply for the exemption, but the personal property tax exemption was made contingent upon an outside audit of personal property tax assessments.
MACo opposed this legislation as it could reduce county personal property taxes without any local action or input. Counties believe that incentives and reductions in local tax rates or bases should be a local decision, and MACo resists proposals that automatically effect such changes across each county.
SB 590 passed the Senate and was heard by the House Ways and Means Committee. No further action was taken by the House Committee.