MACo Urges Local Autonomy On Tax Breaks

MACo Associate Director Barbara Zektick testified in opposition to House Bill 100, “Income Tax Subtraction Modification – Retirement Income of Law Enforcement, Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Services Personnel,” before the House Ways and Means Committee on February 1, 2017.

This bill provides for a subtraction modification for the first $15,000 of retirement income for individuals at least 55 years of age who are retired law enforcement officers or fire, rescue, or emergency services personnel of the United States, the State of Maryland, or local government.  While MACo does not necessarily oppose a reduction of the tax burden on Marylanders, a subtraction modification has a particular detrimental affect on county government’s ability to provide services to its residents.  MACo would prefer to see such relief in the form of a tax credit, which would not reduce the already diminishing revenues of local government across Maryland.

From MACo testimony:

HB 100 is one of many bills that have been introduced this session to reduce or adjust the income taxes paid by residents of Maryland. According to the bill’s fiscal note, local revenues would decline by $2.5 million in fiscal 2018, increasing in subsequent fiscal years. This revenue effect, combined with that of other bills that have been introduced so far this session, is simply not affordable as a statewide county mandate and could present substantial budget difficulties.

In recent years, MACo has taken similar positions on a range of proposals, urging that local revenue structures remain the province of local decision-makers. Read MACo’s broad position statement from 2015.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2017 legislative session here.