MACo Opposes Bill Decimating Local Government Revenues

MACo Associate Director, Barbara Zektick, provided testimony in opposition to House Bill 215, “County Revenues – Business Fees and Personal Property Tax Exemption,” before the House Ways and Means Committee on February 7, 2017.

This bill exempts all personal property from personal property taxes, other than operating personal property of a railroad or a public utility and specified telecommunications property. Instead, it authorizes counties to impose fees by local law of $25 to $100 per business entity, based on their number of employees. While nominally seeking to promote simplicity, this bill dramatically undermines county revenue structures and support for essential services.  This bill removes hundreds of millions of dollars from county revenues, decimating local governments’ ability to provide basic core services such as education, public safety, and public works for Maryland families.

From MACo testimony:

Counties are amenable to working with policymakers on efforts to reduce burden on businesses through the personal property and inventory valuation processes. However, the significant costs of this bill are simply untenable. Cuts of this magnitude on essential government services would wreak havoc on public safety, education, and quality of life for Maryland families.

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